The Likud-Yisrael Beytenu’s campaign headquarters complained to the Central Elections Commission on Friday over the participation of popular Israeli singers in both Labor and Meretz party election conferences.
The petitions were filed after the panel ruled earlier that day that the joint right-wing Knesset list broke the law by having pop singer Sarit Hadad perform a hagiographic song for Netanyahu at a campaign event.
Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, who heads the committee, found that Hadad’s performance broke a rule against using creative performances for publicity purposes. Rubinstein said he will pass on the case to the attorney general, who can levy a fine or even jail time.
In December, Hadad, a popular Mizrahi singer, played a song at a campaign event hailing Netanyahu as “the bomb” and saying there is no one like him.
After the performance, for which Hadad reportedly received NIS 80,000 (more than $20,000) for two songs, the Yesh Atid party and a private individual raised complaints to the elections panel, saying the concert broke propaganda rules.
Likud-Beytenu countered the complaint, saying the event was a private affair and should not fall under campaign rules.
But Rubinstein said that whether or not the party was billed as a campaign event, it acted like one. “Events whose dominant effect is influencing the elections, and which don’t have any other dominant effect, are campaign publicity,” he ruled.
The Likud-Beytenu petitions stated that the left-wing parties had violated the same law by having Efrat Gosh and Rona Keinan perform at Labor and Meretz functions respectively.
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