Attorney General to Central Elections: You have no authority to block V15 ads

The Likud party has accused the Zionist Union of violating laws prohibiting accepting funds from non-Israeli citizens and foreign-funded organizations and governments via V15.

February 11, 2015 20:55
1 minute read.
Tzipi Hotovely

Hotovely holds up screenshot of Labor website with V15 link.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Wednesday told the Central Elections Commission that it lacked the authority to grant the Likud’s request to block advertising by the group known as V15 (Victory in 2015).

Weinstein said legal issues raised about the group’s activities would be investigated by police in due course, but that nothing at present had been raised that was sufficient to block its advertising.

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Late Sunday night, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira informed the commission that he would delay probing the political activities of V15 until after the March 17 election.

The Likud has accused the Zionist Union of violating laws prohibiting funding from non-Israeli citizens and foreign governments and organizations via V15, a group that, among other things, seeks to promote moves toward defeating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the election.

Shapira explained that there was little basis on which to review whether any laws had been violated until all the political parties submit their financial reports after the election.

The claims about V15 followed a wave of accusations against Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, regarding the use of public funds or assets for foreign flights and the consumption of alcohol and soft drinks.

V15 has received funding from S. Daniel Abraham and Daniel Lubetzky, who are not Israeli citizens, but Zionist Union, the group and its supporters counter that there is no direct connection between V15 and any political party – only a common desire to defeat Netanyahu.

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) had asked the elections committee for a temporary injunction against V15 “so it will be known that a government cannot be toppled with illegitimate means.”

A V15 spokesman responded that Netanyahu and his wife had “consumed so many recycled bottles of alcohol that they were convinced that evil genies were coming out” of them. “V15 will continue to protest at junctions across the country, and they will continue to recycle and fantasize.”

In response, a Zionist Union spokesman said, “Netanyahu’s political spin has blown up in his face, and now that the attorney-general has thrown this nonsense into he garbage, perhaps the prime minister can start speaking about what matters to the citizens of Israel.”

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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