Yair Lapid 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The “Lapid Bill 2” will be brought to its final Knesset vote, after the House
Committee unanimously approved the legislation for its second and third (final)
plenum readings, forcing television-personality-turned- politician Yair Lapid to
reveal his campaign’s donors.
The legislation passed through its
preliminary reading, first reading and two committee votes in an accelerated
process, and is expected to be brought to its final reading this week, before
the Knesset recess begins.
The bill, proposed by House Committee chairman
Yariv Levin (Likud) and MKs Otniel Schneller (Kadima) and Daniel Ben-Simon
(Labor), would require any person or group that declares “in writing or in
speech, clearly or through behavior,” an intention to run for a Knesset seat
without joining an existing party to follow campaign finance laws and report all
donations and income.
The aspiring politician will have to open a
separate bank account and report any donations over NIS 50 to the state
comptroller within 14 days, among other campaign finance regulations. Not
reporting contributions carries a jail sentence of six months or a
Someone who announced his or her candidacy before the law is
passed, such as Lapid, will have to report all campaign contributions of over
NIS 10 to the comptroller within 30 days. The comptroller will then publicize
“The Knesset is closing a loophole that was misused,” Levin
explained. “This bill is worthy, even if there is a specific person in the
According to Schneller, only people with connections or
wealth are able to become MKs, a fact that many politicians hide. This bill will
make the democratic process more transparent, he said.
MK Dov Henin
(Hadash), however, slammed the bill, saying that large parties are putting
unnecessary blocks on new parties attempting to enter the political arena. Any
additional block, he said, will increase public alienation and distrust in the
political system, and discourage people from voting in the next elections.