Right-wing Rally 'Illicit Electioneering,' Election Committee Rules

As a result of the ruling, musicians barred from taking part in Rabin Square demo later Sunday, and it will not be aired on television. Netanyahu scheduled to make speech.

Moti Milrod

The Central Elections Committee has accepted a petitioned filed by the Zionist Union, and noted that the right-wing protest set to take place in Tel Aviv on Sunday night is a "political event that constitutes electioneering."

As a result of the ruling, musicians will not be allowed to perform, and the event will not be televised.

Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, who also chairs the elections committee, accepted the Zionist Union's claim that musicians should be barred from performing at the event, and that the event went from a public gathering to a political electioneering event following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement that he will deliver a speech there.

Following the committee's decision, the Zionist Union party also plans to approach the State Comptroller with a request to investigate the funding of the event to ensure that no campaign finance laws were violated.
 
Organizers of the rally have come under fire for funding given by local authorities in the West Bank, including by subsidizing bus transport for residents of settlements in their jurisdiction.

The Binyamin, Har Hebron and Gush Etzion regional councils are among the participating local governments, which signed ads urging residents to attend.

This funding isn’t illegal. Local governments in the West Bank are entitled to spend part of their budget on demonstrations, as long as the demonstrations are meant to benefit the community and/or its residents, and since Sunday’s rally is also a protest against plans to evacuate settlements, subsidizing it doesn’t violate the law.

Nevertheless, all local governments in the West Bank spend far more than they earn, and rely on state subsidies - including some that are allocated only to the settlements - to make up the difference.