Election issues

The latest issues in the Israeli election campaign, like most elections, have nothing to do with serious political issues, but rather are publicity and funding issues, that are both silly and serious.

To deal with the silly first, the opposition Labor camp under Isaac Herzog have attacked PM Netanyahu’s wife Sarah because they claim to have discovered that she has returned bottles from the PM’s house and pocketed the proceeds.  They claim that this money should be returned to the Government, which paid for the drinks, and that it amounts to ca. NIS 4,000 (ca. $1,000).  This hardly amounts to a major crime, but in any case the PM’s office has responded that the money for 2014 was returned to them and in any case the amount is much less (they claim that the PM’s office only orders on average 1 bottle per day).  The opposition have tried to make this a campaign issue and the media have labelled it “bottlegate,” but so far it has only raised little more than a smirk.

A much more serious issue relating to campaign financing has been raised by the Likud party and the media that claims that the Labor opposition (that misleadingly call themselves “the Zionist camp”) is receiving support and help from an organization called Victory15 or V15, that is funded by another organization called One Voice, that is a known NGO and fund raising organization in the US and other countries from the Obama campaign.   Furthermore several well-known Americans who have previously been involved in the Obama Presidential campaign have recently come to Israel and are said to be working for V15, in other words to undermine Netanyahu and the Likud party and ensure a victory for the Labor opposition.  Not only is this rank hypocrisy by Obama, who has been saying that he won’t meet with Netanyahu if he visits the US to address Congress because of the nearness of the Israeli election, but it may also be illegal.  There are several other organizations listed as sponsors and supporters of One Voice, one of them is the US State Department. It is illegal for an NGO to secretly accept funding from a foreign government or individuals in order to influence the outcome of an Israeli election.  The Israeli Attorney General is looking into this case.

So in other words, its business as usual, with shenanigans of a serious nature taking place.  According to the latest polls the Likud has gained a lead over the Labor camp as more Israelis decide who they are going to vote for.


3 thoughts on “Election issues

  1. Jack,

    Why doesn’t the Israeli government expel the Obama’s operatives, and any foreign NGOs sent to influence the election? A foreign visitor can always be expelled from a sovereign nation. Would this be illegal under Israeli law, or is it simply that Netanyahu is afraid it would look bad and provoke a backlash.




    • Mike: I don’t think they can just expel them without some kind of proof, and that takes a legal action. If it is proven that they are “conspiring” to influence the results of the Israeli election and are being paid by a foreign government or organization, then they could be indicted and then expelled.


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