Joint list pays slammed with largest fines

The State comptroller released his report on campaign finance violations today. The largest fines were meted out to the Joint List.

Gary Willig ,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister of Education Naftali Bennet
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister of Education Naftali Bennet
Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

State comptroller Yosef Shapira released his report on the financing of the past election and the financing of political parties Tuesday.

The report indicates that all factions which competed in the last Knesset election (with the exception of the Green Leaf party) finished their election campaigns with deficits which ranged from 200 shekels to 16 million shekels.

The report found that Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) did not include all of its expenses in its accounts and illegally used state funds to cover fines for past violations.

The revenue of Habayit Hayehudi was also greater than the limit allowed, and the party was fined 850,000 shekels.

The Likud Party was also reported to have raised more money than was allowed, and was also fined 850,000 shekels.

Both Habayit Hayehudi and the Likud were fined for holding what the report termed an illegal rally in Rabin Square a few days before the election.

Yisrael Beiteinu was fined 195,000 shekels for campaign finance violations.

The comptroller report found many deficiencies in the accounts of the Joint List faction of Arab parties. The Joint list was jointly fined 1,231,000 shekels for its campaign finance violations, more than any other faction or party which ran in the last election.

The Joint List reported spending NIS 567,000 on coupons for gas on Election Day, but did not provide proper documentation for this expense.

The Joint List was also accused of lying about spending 1.4 million shekels on 541 campaign offices. Shapira wrote that he suspects that many f the rental contracts for those offices were fake and meant to cover up where the money was actually spent.

Shapira did not rule on the activities of V15, an organization that was accused of using funding from the US State Department to unseat Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He also declined to rule on any media outlets, which has been taken to be a reference to the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Yisrael Hayom.