(photo credit: REUTERS)
The government transferred NIS 12.8m. to a visitors center in the West Bank as part of illegal election propaganda, MK Stav Shaffir (Labor) wrote in a petition to Central Election Committee chairman Justice Salim Jubran Tuesday, following a spirited debate on the issue in the Knesset Finance Committee.
According to Shaffir, the details of where funds will be spent were not sent to Finance Committee members a week before they were brought to a vote Monday, when the panel approved them, as required by Knesset regulations, and that their transfer was not urgent, so there was no justification for holding the vote between the Knesset's dispersal and the election.
The Finance Ministry is now under the auspices of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after he fired Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid from the position. Left-wing politicians charged that Netanyahu is playing politics with that office to cater to right-wing voters in advance of the March 17 general elections.
As such, Shaffir asked that the Central Election Committee block the money from being transferred to fund the project, which will be located in the Barkan Industrial Park in the West Bank.
Shaffir wrote that, in recent weeks, taxpayers' money was used for Netanyahu's election campaign and Slomiansky turned the Finance Committee "a market in which the hottest merchandise is our money."
"This is clearly and openly 'electionomics,'" Shaffir wrote. "The prime minister and Finance Committee chairman Nissan Slomainsky (Bayit Yehudi) are acting ostentatiously to move funds to populations that they are close to, in a way that will help them in the general election for the Knesset."
"This situation is worrying and must be brought to an end," she added.
Shaffir and Slomiansky have long battled over Finance Committee procedure, particularly in relation to settlement and Jewish education funding, and the Supreme Court is expected to discuss the former's petition against the latter in February.