Head of Elections Committee: Investigate Likud

Judge Hanan Melcer says police must investigate actions of organization which acted on behalf of the Likud.

Ben Ariel ,

Hanan Melcer
Hanan Melcer
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

The chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Hanan Melcer, determined on Tuesday that the police must launch a criminal investigation against the Likud party following the activities of the "Zazim Yemina" (lit. Moving Right) organization, which encouraged voters to vote for right-wing parties in next week’s election.

The background to the decision was a hearing held on Tuesday on a petition filed by Attorney Shachar Ben Meir and the Labor Party against the activities of the organization, following which the Likud admitted that the organization, headed by Mordechai Benita, is part of the Likud’s activities.

The admission was made after the publications until that point by Zazim Yemina claimed at first that the organization was composed of non-partisan field personnel. The publications were later amended to state that the organization had been set up by the right-wing parties and the national camp.

In Tuesday’s discussion, it turned out that contrary to what could be understood from the publications, people from parties other than the Likud were not included in the activities of the organization, nor was funding received from other parties.

In his ruling, Justice Melcer determined that the organization’s publications allegedly violated the provisions of sections 10, 10A, 10B and 13 of the Elections Law (Propaganda Methods).

In light of this, Justice Melcer ruled that "these matters are subject to investigation by the police, and it would be appropriate that this investigation be conducted with the guidance of the State Attorney's Office. The findings of the investigation will be presented within three months to the Attorney General, as well as to the State Comptroller (by virtue of his powers under the Parties Financing Law, 5733-1973), and they shall decide on the whole in accordance with their best discretion."

In addition, Justice Melcer ordered Zazim Yemina to correct all the publications that had been published on its behalf, in order to make it clear that the organization was acting on behalf of the Likud list, and allotted 48 hours for this to be carried out.

The Labor Party welcomed the decision by the chairman of the Elections Committee, saying, "The Likud is trying to steal the elections - we are stopping them. In the Knesset, on the streets and on the Internet, we will continue to fight against the lies of the Likud, without hesitating or faltering, even from the next government, when the Likud sits in the opposition."