Knesset approves 'V15 Law'

Knesset approves third reading of law preventing improper intervention of non-political entities in elections.

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Nitsan Keidar,

MK Yoav Kisch
MK Yoav Kisch
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The Knesset on Monday evening approved in a third reading the amendment to the Party Financing Law, which has come to be known as the “V15 Law”.

The bill, which last month passed its first Knesset reading, seeks to prevent improper intervention of entities which are not political parties in the elections to the Knesset.

According to the amended version of the law submitted by the House Committee, headed by MK Yoav Kisch (Likud), an organization that is engaged in political activity even though it is not an actual political party will be defined a “body active in elections”.

The bill stipulates that such bodies will be obligated to report their funding sources to the State Comptroller, just as regular political parties are obligated to do, since the activities of such bodies resemble those of a regular political party.

The bill is named after V15, the organization which worked against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud during the last elections. Reports said that V15 was funded for the most part by organizations from the United States and Europe in an attempt to unseat Netanyahu and appoint a leftist coalition instead.

MK Kisch welcomed the passing of the bill on Monday evening, saying, “This is a holiday for a democracy that knows how to defend itself against its pollution. We put a concrete barrier in front of those who attempt to buy power with money.”

MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) criticized the bill, describing it as "a harsh, dramatic and tragic law for Israeli democracy. The day of its approval in the Knesset is a bad day for the citizens of Israel, who will now distance themselves even further from political involvement that is not parliamentary.”

“In spite of this, the members of the Zionist Union led dramatic changes in the law that removed from it many obstacles that the Likud wanted to be imposed on extra-parliamentary organizations. A government headed by us will act to abolish this law,” he added.