Likud to be investigated for 'Move to the Right' campaign

A campaign advocating for right-wing parties may have broken election laws, according to a suit filed by Labor.

A sign on a Jerusalem bus proclaims, ‘The Likud is strength.’ (photo credit: ERICA SCHACHNE)
A sign on a Jerusalem bus proclaims, ‘The Likud is strength.’
(photo credit: ERICA SCHACHNE)
The chairman of the Elections Committee, Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melcer, announced a criminal investigation against the Likud party to determine if its Move to the Right campaign broke any election laws. The ruling party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces fines for the campaign that seeks to drum up support for not just their own party but other right-wing parties.
According to a report published by Maariv, the decision came after a petition by the left-wing Labor Party and Attorney Shahar Ben-Meir, who alleged that the Likud headquarters is being used to finance and run Move to the Right, which has published online videos and other material urging voters to vote for any of the parties considered right-wing, including Likud, the New Right, the Union of Right-Wing Parties and others. 
Move to the Right, called "Zazim Yemina" in Hebrew is led by senior Likud activist Mordechai Benita, who argued Tuesday that all the activities and funding taking place at Likud headquarters were part of the Likud election campaign and broke no laws, Maariv explained.
The findings of the investigation will be presented within three months to the Attorney General and the State Comptroller, well after the April 9th elections in which Likud is neck-and-neck in the polls with the Blue and White party headed by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. 
Overnight, the Likud said intends to appeal to Melcer and request that he reconsider his decision and allow the party to present him with new data that was not presented to him prior to the formulation of his decision to investigate.
Earlier on Tuesday, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit demanded Likud identify itself as being behind any campaigns, social media or otherwise, that it is connected to or funding. He was responding to a Blue and White Party request to block a campaign and penalize the Likud. The party later revealed its connection.
Move to the Right published a Facebook post blasting the investigation stating, "Attorney Shachar Ben-Meir, tell us what are you afraid of?" It claimed Move to the Right is different from the V15 group that promoted left-wing parties in the 2015 elections and led to the creation of a special law reforming election campaigns. 
תיראו מופתעים: השמאל עתר נגדנו אבל אל דאגה: זה לא ישבור אותנו עו"ד שחר בן מאיר, ספר לנו ממה אתה פוחד? כמי שעתר נגד מתן...
Posted by ‎זזים ימינה zazim yemina‎ on Tuesday, April 2, 2019
V15 advocated for the Zionist Union, led by Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog and was funded by foreign donors.
"This lawsuit won't weaken us," Move to the Right added.

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this article.