Likud Youth chairman David Shain filed a police complaint Wednesday against Zionist Camp and Meretz, accusing them of waging an illegal campaign using millions of shekels that come from NGOs. Shain’s complaint is based on the petition that Likud submitted to the Central Elections Committee on the matter.
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The committee is expected to decide over the next few days whether there is any substance to the claims. According to Shain, “Only the police have the means to investigate the affair properly. I hope that the matter will be examined and the information made available to the public.”
In the petition that Likud submitted to the Central Elections Committee against V15’s (Victory 2015) campaign, party officials claimed that “the Labor Party and the left attempted to buy power with money... millions of dollars that come from leftists abroad are being funneled to finance the campaign to topple Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud.” V15 officials rejected the assertions.
Likud officials petitioned the Central Elections Committee against V15 after Haaretz published a report that V15 had joined One Voice and hired Jeremy Bird, national field director of U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. Likud officials are asking for a restraining order to disqualify V15’s local election campaign, which is attempting to bring about a change in the Israeli government. The petition is also aimed at Project 61 (61 being the number of MKs needed to form a government), Zionist Camp, Meretz, Molad, One Voice and Eyal Arad, the group’s consultant.
Attorney David Shimron, who is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyer, said during a press conference, “The two laws – the Political Parties (Financing) Law and the Knesset Elections Law (Propaganda Methods) – were systematically violated by Labor and Hatnuah, which are running together under the title Zionist Camp; by Meretz and by a series of agencies and groups, including V-2015.”
Shimron claimed that the group was “raising money, engaging in organizational coordination and engaging in propaganda as defined by State Comptroller [Eliezer] Goldberg, who served during the affair of Barak’s non-profit organizations. V15 is encouraging people to vote against Likud – in other words, it is engaging in forbidden propaganda.”
Shimron explained the link between the groups and Zionist Camp, saying, “Two of the candidates for Knesset, Yoel Hasson and Danny Atar, are heads of One Voice. Both of them are Zionist Camp candidates for the Knesset and are heads of One Voice, which funds V15. There is an obvious political connection here. We are seeing a criminal act here whose purpose is to buy votes with money that should not be used.”
Shimron issued an apology after receiving a warning letter from the New Israel Fund over his accusations that the fund was contributing money to V15. A spokesperson for his law office said, “If he said that V15 was being funded by the New Israel Fund, this was said in error and Mr. Shimron apologizes for it.” Shimron said he had made his statement about the New Israel Fund Wednesday based on its support for Molad, in accordance with the information that appears on the NIF website.