Crowdfunding Effort Seeks to Raise NIS 1M for PM’s Defense

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A crowdfunding project by a Likud loyalist to help Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu raise money for his legal defense in the event he is indicted has garnered some NIS 60,000 in barely two days of operation – with the objective of raising NIS 1 million within 40 days. The effort comes after a state panel said that Netanyahu could not initiate such a campaign himself.

The project was initiated by Moshe Pesel, a Likud activist who is seeking a spot on the Likud list in the upcoming election. Speaking to Maariv, Pesel said that “our task as Israeli citizens is to help raise money for the defense of the prime minister. This is a legal matter that concerns us all. I, Moshe Pesel, am a 29-year-old resident of Givatayim, and I am a very worried citizen, due to the anti-democratic actions of the media. I call on all Israelis to help.”

The money raised will be used strictly for Netanyahu’s defense, in case it is needed. “In recent months we have been witness to direct attacks on the prime minister. The public realizes that there are forces interested in chasing Netanyahu out of office using anti-democratic means. Over and over, Netanyahu succeeds in beating the left at the polls, continuing to lead Israel and reach achievements that have never been seen before. But there is a small group that is not prepared to accept the will of the people and is doing everything possible to harm the best prime minister Israel has ever had.”

Netanyahu has asked numerous government authorities about raising money for his defense, and has been turned down by all of them, including State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit, said Pesel. “The reason he was turned down was out of fear that Netanyahu would ‘owe’ something to the business people he raised money from, but with our small donations on a crowdfunding platform that will not be a problem,” with the maximum donations capped at NIS 500. “The police and prosecution have invested millions in this case, and it is only fair that the defense should be able to do so as well. The amount Netanyahu is going to have to pay for defense in these cases is unprecedented, and we need an astronomical sum of money,” Pesel added.