Election Scandals

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid claims that his is the only major party that is not tainted by corruption or scandal. With new allegations regularly emerging from all corners, there is clearly no shortage of scandals in this election. Here is a brief outline of some of the scandals that have features most prominently:

Bottlegate: This scandal involves Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife, who is accused of illegally keeping money from recycled “state-owned” bottles. This scandal goes hand in hand with other accusations that the first couple has spent excessive sums of state money on things like cleaning, ice cream, take out food and alcohol at their residences in Jerusalem and Caesarea. These allegations were released in a report issued by the state comptroller and are being exploited to the max by Netanyahu’s opponents.

The Congressional Speech: Netanyahu is also getting blasted by his opponents for accepting an invitation form the Republicans to deliver a speech on Iran in front of Congress, against the overt wishes of President Obama.

V15 Affair: The organization V15 (Victory 15) is actively campaigning against Netanyahu. The Likud asserts that V15 is misusing foreign donations. Additionally, the Likud is claiming that the U.S. is meddling in Israel’s elections because V15 has partnered with OneVoice, an organization that receives U.S. State Department funding, and has also hired Jeremy Bird who was the national field director for Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Yisrael Beitenu Corruption: Senior members of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party have been accused of criminal allegations relating to bribery, embezzlement, nepotism and illegal money transfers. In total, over 15 independent cases of corruption involving Yisrael Beitenu members are being investigated. These charges of corruption have severely hurt the party; the polls are predicting that Yisrael Beitenu will lose up to 7 seats from its previous 13 in the last Knesset.