Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla announced on Thursday that he has decided to postpone his visit to Israel to an unknown date later in the Spring due to coronavirus restrictions. This comes after he was pushed to postpone his visit until after the election in order to avoid election propaganda.
Bourla was set to land in Israel on Monday for a series of meetings, only 15 days before Israel's next election, which prompted many to criticize the visit as election propaganda on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu..
The Achrayut Leumit (national responsibility) movement on Wednesday sent a letter to Bourla, Netanyahu and State Comptroller and Ombudsman Matanyahu Englman, urging the Pfizer CEO to postpone the visit until after the election.
In the letter, Achrayut Leumit CEO Adv. Oshi Elmaliach, who is considered close to former prime minister Ehud Barak, wrote that "Mr. Bourla's participation in photo-op events with the prime minister may constitute aiding and abetting a prohibited election campaign and is a criminal offense."
Elmaliach added that any propaganda of this sort will be met with an appeal to Ombudsman Englman, to the Central Elections Committee and if necessary, to the Israel Police for violation of election propaganda laws.
Netanyahu said last week that the purpose of Bourla's visit was to hold discussions about establishing a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing site in Israel.