Attorney Demands Labor Stop Promoting Gabbay’s New Book

Avi Gabbay. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Israeli activist attorney Shachar Ben-Meir has demanded that the Labor Party immediately cease and desist from promoting a book by party leader Avi Gabbay, claiming that it constitutes a violation of Israeli election laws. In the letter to Labor’s legal counsel, Guy Bussy, Ben-Meir says that the book gives the party an unfair advantage, and that he is prepared to take legal action if the party does not halt its role in the public relations campaign it has apparently undertaken on behalf of Gabbay.

In recent days, at least two videos have surfaced of Gabbay promoting the book, an autobiography that lays out his political views and plans for Israel if he is elected prime minister. In those videos, Gabay proclaims himself head of Labor, and the party’s logo is clearly seen throughout.

Those videos, along with displays in bookstores, ads that identify Gabbay as the author, and other merchandising vehicles, provide free advertising for Labor, which will benefit from an advantage that other parties do not have, a violation of election laws. If the videos and/or other marketing campaigns were paid for by government election funds, Gabbay and Labor may be guilty of an actual crime, Ben-Meir wrote.

Ben-Meir, an expert on Israeli election law, also had a complaint for the Likud – demanding that it remove from its social media pages images of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu interacting with IDF soldiers. Those images give Netanyahu an unfair campaign advantage, and if they are used to promote Netanyahu in a direct election ad campaign, the Likud could be in violation of election laws.