PM advances bill against foes’ fund-raising

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 7, 2016 01:55

Likud MK Kisch: Prevent our elections from becoming like those in US.

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YOAV KISCH.

YOAV KISCH.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed a bill Sunday that would limit fund-raising for the organization that campaigned against him in last year’s election, V15.

Proposed by Likud MK Yoav Kisch, the bill would prevent organizations involved in elections from raising more than NIS 1,000 a month. Netanyahu announced his support in a meeting of the heads of parties in his governing coalition.

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V15 caused headaches for Netanyahu by hosting rallies against him and spending huge sums on billboards and canvasing voters. Such activity was legal, because they did not tell voters to support a specific party or candidate.

Kisch said that besides V15, he wanted to prevent a recurrence of the 1999 election in which fictitious organizations were used to finance the campaign of then-prime ministerial candidate Ehud Barak.

“Campaign fund-raising laws would no longer be able to be bypassed by such organizations,” Kisch said. “If we don’t close this loophole, our elections could stoop to those of America, in which huge sums are drafted from wealthy people to impact the results of the elections. Our elections must be more transparent with rules that are fair.”

Since the election, V15 has renamed itself Darkenu (Our Way). Its spokesman, Eyal Basson, said it represented hundreds of thousands of Israelis and cannot be silenced.

“Israel deserves better than Bibi [Netanyahu],” Basson said. “Israel is not Turkey, and we will not allow Netanyahu to act like [Turkish president] Erdogan and trample the democratic right to protest against the worst government in the state’s history.”


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