The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Monday approved a bill proposed by MK David Amsalem (Likud), which is intended to limit the self-funding of elected members of the public.
According to the bill, an elected public official and his family will be able to raise donations of up to 100,000 shekels per year for a political campaign. Amsalem's bill has come to be known as the “Barkat Law” as it is intended to harm MK Nir Barkat, who seeks to run for the leadership of the Likud party. As such, the support for the law among Likud members is expected to raise tensions within the party.
The law will be brought for a preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum and will then be promoted by a coalition team.
MK Barkat responded to the approval of the law in the Ministerial Committee and said, "They are afraid, they are afraid, and they know why. A group of wheeler-dealers who banded together to try to stop me. I'm unfazed by such schemes, because unlike those wheel-dealers I work for you. Love you all."
Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar told the committee, "I support the principle of equal opportunity in politics and not giving benefits to the wealthy. It is not clear whether the current situation gives a person with more money a huge advantage in political life over a non-wealthy person, and I think it is a reality we must deal with."
According to a report in Channel 13 News, Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Yesh Atid) opposed the law and said: "As a state, how much can we interfere in what a person does with his money? This is a personal law." Environment Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) replied, "Only we who are from democratic parties."
Tamano-Shata fired back, "Our party is no less democratic." Sa'ar then intervened and, taking a shot at Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid, said, "There were elections in Yesh Atid, it’s just that no one ran in them." Sa'ar's comment was a reference to last week’s primaries for the leadership of Yesh Atid, which Yair Lapid won as he had been the only contender.