(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested Monday to a meeting of Likud activists in Kiryat Gat that there is an international effort to remove him from power.
In a recording of the meeting obtained by Army Radio and aired on Tuesday, Netanyahu is heard saying of the current election campaign, “This a very close battle. Nothing is ensured because there is a great, worldwide effort to topple Likud rule.”
Netanyahu and the Likud have suggested throughout the run-up to the March 17 election that groups such as V15, an organization advertising to remove Netanyahu from power, are being funded by millions of shekels pouring in from abroad.
Last month, the Likud asked State Attorney Shai Nitzan to probe whether V15 was breaking laws prohibiting raising too much money for parties and raising money for parties from people who are not Israeli citizens.
But Nitzan did not find a connection between V15 – which has raised huge sums abroad for its effort to unseat Netanyahu – and any particular party.
The Likud held a much-publicized press conference in early February, in which four MKs, including two deputy ministers, compared V15’s fund-raising to the 1999 non-profit organizations scandal that involved current Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog.
V15 released a statement mocking the Likud press conference after Nitzan’s decision not to prosecute. “The state comptroller, attorney- general, Central Elections Committee and district court took the air out of the Likud’s spin and made a mockery out of the brown-nosing sycophants from the delusional press conference,” V15 said in a statement.
The latest Jerusalem Post poll, released Friday, found that if the March 17 election were held now, the Zionist Union would beat the Likud, 24 Knesset seats to 22.