More than half of contributions to Israeli politicians come from foreign donors

Haaretz reports: More than half of the contributions to politicians in the past two years – 53 percent of the NIS 13 million – came from people who live overseas, cannot vote in Israel and are not directly impacted by the elected officials’ decisions, Haaretz has found.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised 96.8 percent of his NIS 1.2 million in campaign contributions from foreign donors, according to the State Comptroller’s Office, which published the candidates’ campaign contribution reports for the last two years on its website on Thursday. (Netanyahu announced on Thursday that elections would be held January 22.)

Minister Moshe Ya’alon was the only one of the 26 well-financed politicians who raised 100 percent of his campaign funds overseas. Netanyahu raised the second-highest percentage at 96.8 percent, followed by Minister Limor Livnat at 94 percent.

At the other end of the scale, Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich raised just 0.03 percent of her contributions abroad, while Likud MK Ofir Akunis raised 7.3 percent overseas.

Among political parties, Likud raised the highest percentage abroad – 67 percent – while Kadima raised 65 percent overseas. By contrast, Meretz raised zero percent overseas and Habayit Hayehudi raised four percent of its contributions from foreign sources.

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