The Knesset approved on Monday evening the first reading of the so-called “V15 Law”, which seeks to prevent improper intervention of entities which are not political parties in the elections to the Knesset.
The bill passed by a majority of 37 to 26. It needs to pass two more readings in order to become law.
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.
In a dramatic press conference before the last election, Likud MKs presented what they said was evidence that V15 had worked with non-Israeli interests to swing the election toward Zionist Union chairpersons Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni.
MK Kisch who initiated the bill welcomed the passing of its first reading on Monday evening.
"In the name of democracy and a fair election process, I will now allow for power to be bought with money. I will work to end the legislative process in this current Knesset session. V15 failed in 2015 – ‘Darkenu’ will fail miserably in 2019,” he said, referring to V15 current name.