April 2020

April 2020 Activity Summary Report

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Are elected officials more privileged than the Public? We questioned the issue of elected officials who disobey the quarantine regulations

Following documentation concerning a number of senior personalities (including, inter alia, PM Netanyahu, KM Liberman, President Rivlin and Minister of Health Litzman) breaching the regulations of quarantine and social distancing, we contacted the Ministry of Health regarding this issue. In addition, we demanded to start an investigation against the Mayor of Bney Brak concerning his participating in a mass wedding – contrary to the regulations.

Enough to harming the privacy of citizens: NO to turning private data from the ISA (Israel Security Agency, shabak) to a private company

We contacted the Attorney General and some ministers concerning the procedure enabling a private company to establish a system of rating citizens based on data received from the ISA. According to the media, Defense Minister Bennet initiated the development of a new system in cooperation with NSO Company. As stated by the publications, the system’s target is monitoring the spread of Coronavirus based on rating the Israeli population by chances of being infected with the virus. This system is supposed to be based on data received by the Company from the shabak and it includes details concerning citizens’ locations in various times (such information might uncover issues that some persons will prefer not to expose). The system in question raises significant legal difficulties and severe harm to the civil Right for Privacy which is anchored in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.

We petitioned: An accused of bribery should be prevented from establishing a government

It is unthinkable that a prime minister will occupy the defendant’s bench in the morning and by the evening will manage the Security Cabinet. Currently, Binyamin Netanyahu is a full Member of Knesset who is not acting as an elected PM but is asking for the nomination of establishing a government. Netanyahu has been accused of severe offenses of bribery, fraud and breach of trust and therefore he is susceptible to blackmailing and pressure and he also is in a state of conflict of interests. He can’t be qualified for establishing the government and certainly not for running it later on: any decision he may make will be in an inherent conflict of interests, without the Public’s ability to know whether any decision was made for the State’s good or for the sake of his own good. Each and every legislation, appointment and act of governance will immediately be examined with regards to conflict of interests. Though the judges did not accept our petition, the struggle concerning this issue continues with thousands attending our demonstrations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Furthermore, we demanded from Attorney General Mandelblitt to set up red lines in the coalition agreements due to Netanyahu’s severe conflict of interests regarding his indictment. It is improbable that, for example, he will be the one to appoint a Minister of Justice who is in charge of the system that is about to judge him (Netanyahu) in the near future.

A petition to the High Court of Justice against the anti-democratic coalition agreement

In this petition we alerted to the precedential agreement that turned out to be no less than a road map for crushing the values of Israeli Democracy. Among the dangerous faults in the agreement are: 1.The intention to ask for the Knesset’s trust without first establishing the Government’s basic guidelines – but only for the near half year. 2. The future government’s intention to restrain the Knesset’s discretion by prohibiting it from holding legislative procedures for (at least) the coming half year. 3. Preventing an opposition representative from attending the Judges Nomination Committee. 4. A decision to deny the Opposition the heading of committees (except for one) – against the regular conduct during several decades up to now. Though the judges did not accept the petition, our significant achievement has been their criticism of many of the changes and the option they noted to disqualify these changes once they are not only sections in a coalition agreement but take effect through actual legislation. In addition to the petition, we demanded from Netanyahu and Gantz to refrain from altering a Basic Law just for momentary political needs. The State’s Basic Laws may be changed only out of profound, balanced and careful considerations and through a comprehensive public discussion by the Public and its elected officials – but not out of the narrow considerations of establishing a coalition.

NO to an inflated and wasteful government in the midst of a financial crisis

The impending Government is not an Emergency Government but a Jobs Government. Facing tens of thousands of crashing independent business owners and over a million of unemployed others, a government is currently being established with tens of redundant ministers and deputy ministers’ jobs that are wasting valuable public money that is needed the most by the Public now groaning under the burden. Thousands signed our petition of struggle and thousands more participated in our relevant demonstrations.  

How can the Knesset go on functioning without a legal counsel? We demand to appoint a Knesset Legal Counsel urgently

We demanded from Knesset Chairman Gantz to urgently assemble the Public Committee for Electing the Knesset Legal Counsel, especially due to the current governance-constitutional crisis caused by the fact that the State is being led by a criminally indicted person. Presently there is fundamental need of impartial gatekeepers in order to protect the State during this governance-constitutional crisis. The crisis is due to the reality by which for a year now the State has been led by Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister (known to be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust offenses) of a transitional government, who was not elected but keeps on functioning only due to the reality by which no government could be established even after two election rounds. On account of Netanyahu’s legal situation, a lot of undemocratic pressure is being applied to the Knesset’s Legal Advice staff in order to have their cooperation as servers of certain KMs and not as the gatekeepers they ought to be.

The Acting State Attorney’s term should not be extended

Toward the termination of Dan Eldad’s office as Acting State Attorney a possibility arose of extending his term. We acted for preventing this possibility due to the worrisome impression of his functioning. Most of the State Attorney Office’s senior officials – including Dr. Mandelblitt, the Attorney General who is in charge of the State Attorney – have no faith in Eldad when it comes to leading the State Attorney Office. Adv. Eldad released to the media his applying a clandestine investigation against Mandelblitt. It is a grievous act that raises heavy suspicion of its being generated out of insubstantial considerations and in order to de-legitimize the Attorney General and his stance. We believe that Eldad’s term should not be extended and so we demanded to wait for a permanent Minister of Justice who will appoint a temporary Acting State Attorney. Later, Eldad’s term indeed was not extended, just as we demanded.