Israeli Politicians Hot on the Fund-raising Circuit in Europe

Although the state, by law, funds the campaigns of political parties competing in the Knesset elections, no law prevents them from seeking financial support from private sources as well.

That requires going where the money is, which is often overseas.

Yitzhak Rabin, who hopes to lead the opposition Labor Party to victory June 23, made two 24-hour trips to Europe in the last two weeks.

He reportedly attended gala fund-raising dinners for his party in Geneva and in a German city not named.

Labor has a campaign budget of $12.6 million which, when adjusted for inflation, is modest compared to previous campaigns.

Another politician on the money trail is Absorption Minister Yitzhak Peretz, who flew to Europe this week, reportedly to Geneva.

Peretz, who quit the haredi Shas party two years ago and retained his Knesset seat as an independent, announced last week that he would launch a new ultra-Orthodox party called Moriah to run in the upcoming elections.

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