By Tzvi Lev/TPS
Jerusalem (TPS) – The Knesset on Tuesday approved the establishment of a bipartisan committee tasked with investigating political organizations that are funded with money from foreign governments, such as the V15 organization.
“The United States Senate report proved how dangerous such organizations are to Israeli democracy and the need to close this loophole,” said Likud MK Yoav Kish, who chairs the committee. “I will build a concrete wall against the money from foreign sources whose goal is to buy power.”
Kish was referring to the United States Senate report released in July, which proved that the US State Department has poured vast sums of money into V15. Kish claimed that the funding was done in an attempt to bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
V15 came into public attention as a group dedicated to removing Netanyahu from power, running anti-Netanyahu ads during the 2015 election with the slogan “anyone but Bibi.” However, the group was formed and received Senate funding long before the Israeli government surprisingly dissolved and the 2015 elections were announced.
MK Yoav Kish had drafted a bill that would make accepting such foreign donations illegal, and the Senate report accelerated the process required to ratify the bill into law.
The committee will be staffed by nine coalition and seven opposition MKs.