Report: Anti-government protest leader kept funds raised for injured demonstrator

TV report claims Moshe Radman collected over NIS 100,000 meant to cover medical expenses for injured protester, but only gave her small portion of funds; he denies some claims

Protest leader Moshe Radman after being released from a police investigation in Tel Aviv-Jaffa on August 1, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Protest leader Moshe Radman after being released from a police investigation in Tel Aviv-Jaffa on August 1, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

One of the leaders of the anti-judicial overhaul movement, who has continued to be a prominent anti-government protester, has come under fire recently over reported misuse of publicly donated funds meant to cover a fellow protester’s medical bills.

Protest leader Moshe Radman opened an online fundraising account through the money transfer app Paybox nine months ago that raised more than NIS 100,000 ($26,500) for L., a protester injured during an anti-overhaul demonstration in Tel Aviv last year. But according to a Channel 12 news report on Thursday, the injured demonstrator received only a small portion of the funds, and tens of thousands of shekels raised were reportedly transferred to a private company owned by Radman.

The report claimed that Radman did not personally know the protester, nor did he ask her if she needed financial assistance or how much. He had also not notified her he was opening a Paybox account in which the money would go directly to him and not to her.

Of the more than NIS 100,000 collected, the protester claimed in the report that only NIS 15,000 ($4,000) was transferred to her for medical expenses. After she contacted Radman, L. said, he told her “I will make sure to transfer NIS 15,000 to you.” She had asked Radman to make a record of the transaction and to make it known that she had received NIS 15,000 and had no connection to the rest of the money.

Despite the protester already receiving the money, the fundraising description on the Paybox account reportedly did not change, and the fund continued accepting donations from mostly anonymous donors.

“You can no longer see who paid or who withdrew the money,” L. said to Channel 12. “People are asking if the money reached the people it’s meant for.”

Moshe Radman delivers a speech during an anti-government rally outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on July 23, 2023. (Gili Yaari /Flash90)

Radman had also assured L. that the funds continuing to accumulate in the Paybox account would be used to assist other anti-overhaul demonstrators injured during protests, she said. Nine months passed and no injured protesters have received money from the fund, the report stated.

In a conversation between Radman and L., he claimed that he had transferred money “to [protester] Yarden Mann and the guy with the eye,” an apparent reference to former pilot Udi Ori who was injured and required eye surgery after being hit by a water cannon during a protest.

But according to Channel 12, Ori did not receive any money from the fundraiser. And Radman’s transfer to Mann — an activist detained after she was accused of assaulting a government minister earlier this year — came from his personal account and not the Paybox account initially meant to cover L.’s injury expenses.

Anti-overhaul leader Moshe Radman with activists seen at their tent camp outside Moshav Neve Ativ in northern Israel on August 8, 2023. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

L. said she has contacted Radman repeatedly recently asking for more money for her ongoing medical expenses after using up the funds she had received, but thus far has not received a response.

Following the Channel 12 News report, Radman said: “From the start, we said that more money was raised [than L. needed] and that it would go toward helping future injured protesters.” When asked how the funds were allocated and who decided where to send them, he replied: “We used the funds to pay some professionals, we also transferred money to her, essentially what she asked for.”

According to Radman the funds did not go into his own account, but rather stayed in the Paybox fundraiser account, and “no one withdrew [money] from the Paybox.” In a detailed response posted on X, Radman said that of the NIS 102,558 raised, NIS 19,000 was transferred to arrested protesters, NIS 15,000 to L. and NIS 1,000 to Mann. Some money was moved out of Paybox because of limits on how much can be held in the app, and that he told all those donating that extra funds would be going toward a “future fund.”

Radman further clarified that “the money was intended to help a demonstrator who was in distress. All the funds that were transferred or will be transferred benefit the protest movement.”

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