Elections C'tee: Likud-Beytenu broke the law

Election Propaganda Law forbids using “entertainment programs” in campaigns; case to be referred to attorney-general.

Liberman and Netanyahu 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)
Liberman and Netanyahu 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)
The Likud-Beytenu joint list breached the Election Law by hiring singer Sarit Hadad to perform at a campaign event and could face criminal charges, the Central Elections Committee’s Justice Elyakim Rubinstein ruled on Friday.
Rubenstein will hand the case to Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein.
Yesh Atid submitted a formal complaint to the committee shortly after the event last month, pointing out that Article 8 of the Election Propaganda Law forbids using “entertainment programs” in campaigns.
The law specifically bans hiring singers.
“Breaking the law was not enough for Likud Beytenu’s list of candidates; rather, they made sure to invite the media to show the entire public how they broke the law,” the complaint reads.
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Yesh Atid also wrote that Likud Beytenu knew that Hadad’s appearance was prohibited, pointing to media reports that the latter party reported the expense to the state comptroller and was warned of its illegality.
Singer Dudu Fisher performed two songs at the Likud-Beytenu event but was not mentioned in Yesh Atid’s complaint.
Likud Beytenu responded last month that, in contrast to what Yesh Atid says, it was not warned by the State Comptroller’s Office or Rubinstein against hiring Haddad.
“Likud Beytenu has a legal opinion authorizing the show as legal. Likud Beytenu paid for the show, unlike other parties that invited artists to perform for free, which is a forbidden donation and a crime, according to the Party Funding Law,” the party said, in reference to singer Efrat Gosh, who appeared at a Labor Party event.
According to Likud Beytenu, a free performance by the singer is worth more than NIS 15,000, the maximum campaign donation permissible by law.
Meanwhile, Labor responded that the party discovered long before Likud Beytenu pointed it out that it would be illegal for Gosh to perform for free, and had already partly paid her and her band.