Photo Credit: Chen Leopold/Flash90
Arab youths on a bus (illustration image).

The Central Elections Committee on Sunday night issued an injunction against leftwing NGO Zazim’s initiative to bus 15,000 Arab voters to the polls on election day, ruling that the initiative is in violation of the election laws.

The injunction came following a petition submitted by Likud, which argued that Zazim’s initiative, which is heavily funded by the New Israel Fund, is violating Israel’s election laws.

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In 2017, the Knesset passed the V15 Law, aimed at preventing foreign funded political organizations from interfering in the elections. The law was enacted in response to the efforts of the Obama administration-funded V15 to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu in the 2015 national elections.

The efforts against Zazim’s initiative began ahead of the previous national elections in April 2019, when the Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu filed a petition against the group with the elections committee.

At the time, Likud joined Im Tirtzu’s petition after the committee had ruled that only political parties could submit petitions, but the petition was rejected anyway. Now, due to Zazim’s increased unlawful activities, the elections committee, led by Justice Hanan Melcer, accepted the original argument and ruled that the leftist NGO’s busing initiative is in violation of the law.

Im Tirtzu’s legal division hailed the ruling as “a great victory for Israeli democracy,” and contended that the ruling “sends a clear message to radical New Israel Fund-backed organizations like Zazim that the Israeli public will not tolerate their attempts to interfere in the elections.”

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