Likud Fined for Misleading Voters With Old Recording of Moshe Kahlon

Party distributed 2-year-old messages of Kahlon endorsing Likud, well before he formed Kulanu, to potential voters.

Emil Salman

The chairman of the Central Elections Committee on Tuesday fined Likud 20,000 shekels ($5,000) for distributing an old recording of Moshe Kahlon urging people to vote Likud.

Kahlon, a former Likud MK, is currently running as the head of his own party, Kulanu. The tape was made during a previous election, when he still belonged to Likud.

Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, the elections committee chairman, deemed Likud’s use of the tape “grossly misleading” and ordered the party to cease using it immediately.

Kulanu petitioned the committee after discovering Monday night that Likud was playing the recording in robocalls to potential voters. Joubran immediately issued a restraining order against use of the tape and ordered Likud to respond to the petition by 9 A.M. on Tuesday.

In its response, Likud argued that the recording wasn’t misleading, as “a reasonable voter who hears the tape knows very well that what was said on it was said by Mr. Kahlon in the past, when he was a member of the Likud movement, and not in the run-up to the [current] election for the 20th Knesset, since it’s not reasonable that someone who heads a party running for Knesset would call for voting for a different, competing party.”

But Joubran disagreed. Hearing this recording the day before the election would “almost certainly ... mislead voters into thinking this was a request by Kahlon that they support the Likud Party,” he wrote. “Indeed, I have trouble finding any other purpose for sending this announcement – at this time – other than an attempt to create that very impression. The recorded announcement doesn’t indicate in any way that it’s an announcement from two years ago, when Mr. Kahlon was a minister on behalf of the Likud party.”