Likud Withdraws Request for Court Order Against anti-Netanyahu NGO

Ruling party acknowledges that it had been unable to substantiate statement that the V15 campaign for government change had violated electoral laws.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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V15's new ad. Image courtesy of V15.
V15's new ad. Image courtesy of V15.
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Likud has withdrawn its petition for an injunction against an NGO working for the removal of the party from power, after failing to find a "smoking gun" linking it to the opposition Zionist Union.

The Tel Aviv District Court petition was withdrawn on Thursday morning by attorney David Shimron, who just two weeks ago told a press conference that the V15 organization was violating the country's electoral laws in conjunction with the two parties that comprise the Zionist Union, Labor and Hatnuah.

The Likud said in a statement that it was withdrawing its request for an injunction "taking into account the comments by the court regarding the evidentiary difficulty in proving our case to a substantive degree."

The statement called on the authorities to continue the police investigation into Likud complaints that the Zionist Union's campaign was "supported by extreme leftist groups that seek to buy a change in government."

Zionist Union responded by saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have to "think up a new spin so that no one will discuss his failures in security, cost of living and housing.

"We will not be surprised if tomorrow morning we'll wake up to hear about a press conference by the prime minister's minions presenting the snow as a Zionist Union plot aimed at deposing Netanyahu," the party said in a statement.

"What began as a bizarre press conference, ended today in an embarrassing statement of submission by the Likud to the court," V15 said in a statement.

"It is another link in a chain of Likud losses as it seeks victory in the 2015 election campaign. It is saddening to see that what remains of the once-proud Likud movement is a weak performance by the family lawyer and a loud bunch of ministers and Knesset members who bend the knee to their out-of-touch leader.

"Even the judge understood that what stands behind the victory of V15 in this case is Israeliness and Israelis who are determined to return hope to the country and change the government."

V15 is a grassroots organization campaigning to replace the current government. It filed an incitement complaint against Likud earlier this month after the latter's allegations that V15 was engaging in illegal activities in the election campaign.

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