Recently the Israeli Knesset enacted a new anti-spam amendment.
The amendment relates to the existing prohibition against the
transmission of advertisements via facsimile, computerized
autodialer ("robocall"), e-mail or SMS without the
addressee "opting in" by expressing, prior written
consent (commonly known as "spam" or "junk
mail"). The amendment now includes in such prohibition any
advertisement disseminated to the public at large that asks for a
contribution or that constitutes non-commercial propaganda.
However, the above prohibition shall not apply to requests for
'contributions' that are within the realm of political
contributions for the purpose of contending in primaries pursuant
to the Political Parties Law, in elections for the Knesset and in
elections to head a local authority or as part of a list of
candidates for a local authority. The prohibition shall not apply
to the dissemination of "propaganda" containing political
messages, including election propaganda, but shall apply to the
dissemination of interviews that seek to influence positions or
The legislative amendment also prescribes that
'advertisements' sent solely via e-mail by non-profit
organizations or public-benefit companies for the purpose of
requesting contributions or disseminating non-commercial messages
shall not constitute violations of the anti-spam legislation,
provided that the addressee has not refused to accept such
advertisements in one of the ways prescribed in the law.
This means that non-profit organizations and public-benefit
companies are now allowed to send e-mails requesting contributions
or disseminating non-commercial propaganda (according to the
definitions of these terms as stated above) even without receiving
prior consent, as long as the addressee has not instructed them
that he/she is opting out and does not wish to receive such
e-mails. As stated, this is permitted solely via e-mail and not via
other means of communications specified in the law (fax, SMS,
As for robocalls (which now also include 'propaganda'
and requests for contributions), the legislative amendment adds
that, if the advertisement is via robocall, the advertiser must
advise recipients at the beginning of the call that they may ask
that their names be removed from the advertiser's distribution
list and must immediately enable them to also unsubscribe
themselves by pressing a character on their phone.
Originally published August 31, 2016
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