April 2022

April 2022 Activity Summary Report

The Supreme Court accepted our demand to publicize the reasons for closing the cases in the Submarines Affair

Discussing our petition, the Supreme Court accepted the Movement’s demand to publicize the State Attorney Office’s reasons for closing (against the Police’s recommendation!) the cases of Adv. David Shimron and Major General (res.) Eliezer (Chiny) Marom. It is an important step toward exposing the complete truth of this severe affair.

We reminded Prime Minister Bennett: The PM’s residence is located in Jerusalem – it’s time for you to use it!

Following publications relating to numerous expenses in the PM’s private home in Ra’anana, we appealed, according to the Freedom of Information Law, to the PM’s office for receiving documents detailing the total monthly sorted expenses of the Ra’anana dwelling. Everything must be exposed! Another letter sent to Bennett, to the Attorney General and to the State Comptroller, related to the issue of the PM’s inhabiting the official residence in Balfour Street, Jerusalem: That’s what the residence had been designated for. We also called on the PM to legislate the decision that the PM’s family will finance its own food expenses.

Demanding to investigate the suspicion of political appointments in Israel Electric Corporation!

We called on the Director of the Government Companies Authority, The Minister of Energy, the Minister of Finance, the Attorney General and the State Comptroller to implement a thorough examination of claims raised by Dov Baharav, former IEC Chairman of the Board, regarding political appointments and severe interference in IEC Board’s conduct. According to the media Baharav, who was appointed IEC Chairman of the Board three weeks ago, resigned before commencing his role due to his claim of aggressive interference of political considerations within the board and the management members. We called on the deferent factors to implement an intensive investigation of these claims of political interference and suspicion of criminality in the process of appointments. We are also calling on the Minister of Energy to disclose to the public the evidence brought to her attention.

What’s going on with the local authorities that function without budgets?

Having municipalities and local councils working over years without approved budgets is outrageous; local authorities that have not approved their budgets are a familiar phenomenon, and a regrettable one. We decided to submit a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Interior in order to find out this phenomenon’s scope. We asked to receive a list of the municipalities and local councils whose 2022 budgets have not been approved, to understand whether it was due to the council’s initiation or the Minister’s, and to know whether these councils received legal permit for acting this way.  According to the law, once a local council failed to approve its budget within 3 months from the Knesset’s approval of the yearly budget (this happened last November), it is of the Minister of Interior’s duty to advance the establishing – within 14 days – of a committee that will function in place of the council. The Minister is authorized also to extend by 3 more months the date of the budget’s approval by the council. Our request was submitted in order to understand which councils did not approve their budgets and to encourage the Ministry of Interior to use its authority for pushing them to do so as required by the law. It is impossible to have people paying residential property taxes while their councils continue acting without approved budgets and with no transparency concerning the ways of spending these taxes money. We will continue updating on this issue.

We called on the Attorney General: Knesset Member Ayman Odeh must be questioned! 

We asked Adv. Gali Baharav Miara, the Government Attorney General, to open a criminal investigation against KM Ayman Odeh due to his Facebook video in which he verbally expressed issues that might be considered incitement and calling for rebel. In the video he called on Israeli Arab citizens to refrain from joining the security forces and to “throw their weapons right in the security forces’ faces”. Such expressions might be regarded as severe incitement to violence and even as an attempt to rebel. This is why we asked from the AG to check whether these expressions exceed the permitted mode of speaking for a KM and whether they can be considered incitement to violence according to 144-2d clause of the Penal Code and calling for rebel according to 133 clause of this Code. There must be put a definite borderline between criticism and incitement to violence.

We called on the Government Attorney General and the State Comptroller: The Silman Affair must be investigated

Was Knesset Member Idit Silman promised future reservation even before her retiring from the Coalition? We requested the State Comptroller and the Chairman of the Central Election Committee for the Knesset to examine reports about reserving for Silman, following her leaving the Coalition, the 10th place in the Likud party list for the 25th Knesset elections. The reports claim that the reservation was summed up in an agreement and also by a declaration about guarantees given by certain persons. As known, KM Idit Silman of Yamina party held the position of the Coalition Chairwoman in the present Knesset. It is important to remark that according to the 57a clause of the Knesset Election Law, such promises for reservations are allowed only when elections have been declared that will take place within 90 days. In any other situation these promises are illicit. The 57a clause was amended in 1991 as one of the lessons learnt from the “Stinking Trick” between Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir and was designated to prevent the Calantharism phenomenon, meaning – the transition of Knesset members from one party to another after the elections while they are being promised future place reservations in the parties they moved to. In the current case, the question is whether such a reservation had been promised – orally or in writing – to KM Idit Silman prior to her leaving the Coalition. If such are the matters, then this is a blatant violation of the law that necessitates a discussion in the Elections Committee. And there is more to investigate: Was Shmulik Silman promised a senior political position? We requested the Government Attorney General to consider opening an investigation on suspicion of committing offences of bribery and of mediation of bribery. This request was based on media publications claiming that Shmulik Silman, Idit Silman’s spouse, was promised an appointment to “senior political position if his wife’s appointment entangles”.

Thanks to the Movement’s activity, Jerusalem Municipality ceased its improper publications

We will not allow improper use of Jerusalem residents’ tax money for illicit election propaganda! The media recently reported that Jerusalem Municipality purchased two pages in an ultra orthodox children magazine and allegedly used them for glorifying the Mayor. According to the law, it is absolutely forbidden to use public assets in anything related to propaganda. We requested from Mayor Leon and from the Municipality’s legal counsel to remove these publications promptly. Thanks to our involvement, the Municipality’s legal counsel ordered to stop distributing the publications.

More from the Movement’s desk

We struggled in the Supreme Court against the political appointment of Amir Peretz as director in IAI – Israel Aerospace Industries – in a move that violated all rules of proper administration and totally disregarded the Team of Directors. * We struggled in the Jerusalem District Court for having Israel Police publicize the procedures by which it monitors citizens in the social networks. * We petitioned the Jerusalem District Court in demand to publicize the list of gifts Netanyahu failed – against the law – to return to the State. * In the run-up to the local elections, we have joined a principled election petition in* the Elections Committee in the fight to prevent incumbent mayors from abusing public money for advancing illicit election propaganda.

*if the petition was submitted to the committee, then the preposition should be (submitted) to and not in. otherwise, I probably did not get the proper meaning of the text.

* We continued advancing the amendment to the Electoral Law (Ways of Propaganda) in the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in order to protect the Public from illicit propaganda. * We acted for enforcing the scandalous plea bargain with Aryeh Deri according to which he pledged to get away from the Knesset. * We caused the termination of Jerusalem Municipality’s illegal and forbidden election propaganda financed with public money. * We formulated bills concerning the protection of whistleblowers and will submit them in the coming Knesset session. * We demanded to appoint an internal auditor for Beth She’an Municipality, where such an appointment has not been implemented since 2018! * We acted for obliging local authorities that have not yet approved their annual budgets to do so immediately. * We acted for the sake of clean and qualified government in the local authorities. We demanded criminal investigations in several of them due to improper political appointments and institutional conflicts of interests. We keep asking from you, the Public, to help: whenever you encounter any inappropriate conduct at the local government institution, just report to us! * We continued to fight for establishing a committee of inquiry into the Submarines Affair; we will not let go until this will be accomplished. * We protested against promoting cops who have been indicted of beating demonstrators up. * We acted for pushing the Ministries of Welfare and of Public Security to make moves in order to apply the governmental plan for reducing prostitution. * We acted to enhance the protection of whistleblowers; we demanded to impose criminal sanctions on harassers of whistleblowers. * We continued accompanying whistleblowers throughout procedures at the State Comptroller office and the Labor Court. * We continued contacting with you, the Public, by lectures, home meetings and conferences. We will keep on doing so also this month. Just call us and we’ll come.