Ahead of Primaries, MKs Begin Campaigning for Cash

With Israel's elections pushed forward to September 4, Likud, Kadim and Labor's Knesset members have little time to raise funds for the primaries.

Most of Likud, Kadima and Labor's Knesset members have not raised funds for the imminent primaries yet, according to the State Comptroller's website. With the election pushed forward, they have a short time to do so.

The law allows contenders a maximum contribution of some NIS 11,000 from an individual donor.

Kadima member Tzachi Hanegbi.
Gil Cohen Magen

A number of Likud ministers and MKs have reported relatively large contributions in recent weeks. Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar has raised NIS 48,000 since the begining of the year from six donors, some Israeli and some American.

Two members of the Appelbaum family of California contributed a total of NIS 20,000 to Sa'ar in two separate donations.

Culture Minister Limor Livnat.
Alex Kolomoisky

Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat raised NIS 92,000 in 2012 and NIS 30,000 in 2011, all from American donors.

Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein reported raising NIS 56,000 in 2012 and NIS 79,000 in 2011, mostly from American donors.

Former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.
Daniel Bar-On

MK Ofir Akunis has raised NIS 64,000 over the past two years, all from Israeli donors.

Former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz is Kadima's largest fundraiser, receiving NIS 642,000 in the period 2010-2012. Since Halutz is not an MK he may raise significantly higher sums from individual donors. He received a NIS 372,000 contribution from Chicago businessman Jeffrey Silverman and a NIS 90,000 contribution from William Eckhardt, also of Chicago.

Tzachi Hanegbi, a Kadima member planning to return to the Knesset, has raised NIS 156,000 this year and NIS 77,000 in 2011.

Hanegbi received the largest contribution by Philip Levine of Florida, while Israeli businesswoman Galia Albin gave him NIS 15,000.

Some of Kadima's MKs have raised lower sums of a few tens of thousands of shekels, such as Shlomo Molla, Yoel Hasson, Jacob Edery and Nachman Shai.

MK Avishay Braverman (Labor) reported donations in 2010 and 2011 totaling NIS 206,000 from several businesspeople such as Raya Strauss, Irit Izakson, Morris Kahn and Shalom Zeidler.