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Likud legal adviser tells Netanyahu he can’t use party funds to promote his new book

Autobiography can be referred to as part of election campaign but without financing from faction; report notes book features on opposition chief’s party-funded social media pages

Head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu at an election event in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood of Jerusalem, September 11, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu at an election event in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood of Jerusalem, September 11, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Opposition leader and Likud party chief Benjamin Netanyahu was told by Likud’s legal adviser that he cannot use party funds to promote his new autography ahead of the upcoming elections, Israeli television reported Sunday.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, Netanyahu decided last week to begin promoting his new book — “Bibi: My Story” — while campaigning ahead of the November 1 vote and requested permission to do so from his party.

The book is set to be released in Hebrew on October 14, with the English edition due out four days later.

The legal opinion said Netanyahu may refer to the book as part of Likud’s election campaign, but may not use party funds to do so.

“The legal opinion of Likud’s legal adviser allows the book to be referred to, but not promoted financially,” the party said in response to the report.

Kan noted, however, that the book is being promoted on Netanyahu’s social media accounts, which it said receive hundreds of thousands of shekels from his party’s coffers. The majority of parties’ funding comes from taxpayers, as private donations are capped.

Ahead of Sunday’s report, Netanyahu’s Facebook and Twitter accounts put out posts promoting the autobiography.

The cover of Benjamin Netanyahu’s new autobiographical book, set to be published in October. (Courtesy)

The book’s original distribution date in both languages was set for November 22, three weeks after the November 1 national elections, allowing for its promotion after the vote, but was later brought forward to October.

According to Threshold, the book’s English-language publisher, Netanyahu’s autobiography “weaves together his gripping personal story with the dramatic history of Israel and the Jewish people,” and discusses his upbringing, family and political career.

Before being ousted in elections in 2021, Netanyahu was Israel’s longest-serving leader — and one of its most polarizing. He has been at center of Israel’s protracted political crisis, with a cluster of parties refusing to sit with him in government because he is on trial for corruption. Due to the stalemate, Israel is heading into its fifth election in less than four years.

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