August 2019

August 2019 Activity Summary Report

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The Election Committee’s chairman accepted our view: Cameras in the polls – only by the police and equally distributed. The struggle goes on

Deciding that its activists were free to determine their own laws, Halikud party requested the Election Committee to legitimize the cameras “project” for the upcoming elections. We explained to the Committee that beyond the obvious abuse of citizens’ privacy, placing cameras in polling stations – that had already intimidated voters in the previous elections – might generate just the same outcome in the coming elections: out of fear, voters will give up their democratic right to vote altogether. While there is no question that forgeries must be rejected and purity of elections maintained the best way possible, still these issues are in charge of the enforcement authorities that were established to respond exactly to such topics. No private citizens should determine their own law, surly not those who are politically associated and thus have got definite motives.

Indeed, the Committee’s chairman accepted our stance and clarified that operating cameras in polling stations can be accomplished only by the police and not by self-authorized citizens or political activists. He also stated that operating the cameras must be under equal terms and conditions in all of the polling stations: it is inconceivable that cameras will be placed only in certain polling stations. However, people at Halikud are planning to submit a bill regarding this issue and since this bill’s rules remain unclear, we continue our struggle in this issue.

We petitioned the High Court of Justice to investigate the leaks from the State Security Cabinet

As leaks from the Cabinet might endanger Israel and its whole population, the Cabinet’s members should defend strongly the State’s secrets and prevent any chance of leaking. This concept is anchored also in Basic Law: The Government, according to which leak means harming the Public trust and the State’s security and might even raise suspicion of a breach of trust criminal offense. For us this is not first time of being forced to fight the leaks: already following Operation Tzuk Eytan we had petitioned the High Court in demand to handle the phenomenon. Back then, the Attorney General and the State Attorney committed themselves to initiate clear policy of reducing the leaks, but apparently nothing has advanced ever since and no practical response has been given in spite of our countless contacts. In our petition this month we demanded not only to complete the policy’s formulation but also to initiate criminal investigation against leakers.

Demanding from all parties to publicize their platforms

Closing the parties’ lists, it is about time to know their plans: many parties failed to advertise platforms, meaning they have not made it clear to the Public what offers they present, what are their principals, what promises they will fulfill or at least try to. We called the platform-less parties to let their platforms be known to the public as soon as possible: the public deserves to know what it votes for!

The saga of the Ministry of Justice’s Director General: Appointing the new director general was suspended following our petition

In service of the Ministry of Justice for over 23 years, of them for the last over five years as the Ministry’s professionally appointed Director General under two different ministers (Livni and Shaked), Emi Palmor was dismissed by the new and temporary Minister of Justice Amir Ohana – in spite of his being a temporary minister. In this status, a minister should not conduct a long-term policy but only preserve the current order of things until a permanent minister is appointed. Furthermore, the person chosen by Ohana to fill in the office is rather anonymous and seems to be lacking relevant experience so that it’s hard not to fear that extraneous considerations were the reason for this appointment. Therefore, we petitioned the High Court of Justice to order that Ohana sticks to his role as just a temporary Minister of Justice in a transitional government and that he is forbidden to manipulate considerations that are non-relevant to the appointment. Following this petition an interim order was issued that suspended the new director general’s appointment while discussions of the petition continue.

We contacted the police regarding forgeries of water data:  Was public health injured because of greed?

Over three months ago we filed a complaint with the police, demanding to initiate criminal investigation regarding the suspicion of falsifying data of drinking water desalination. According to publications, the operating company is suspected of faking data of the water’s chlorides level and in doing so is hiding the practical reality. By the publications, the real chlorides’ amount in the discussed drinking water is 4 times as permitted! This way, allegedly out of greed, the public health is being threatened while it doesn’t seem as if the Water Authority did its best in order to prevent such an occurrence. This month it became known that the government testing committee for examining the exception found out that these violations were intentional: not only that Sorek desalination plant’s people lied to the State’s authorities, but also those of Palmahim plant did. In a letter to the Police Inspector General we demanded to expand the investigation so that it includes the worrisome finds of the testing committee.

A Public Struggle: We will not let the new State Comptroller give up the fight against corruption

Since launching into his office, the new State Comptroller Matanyahu Engelman initiated several issues that might endanger the struggle against corruption: closing the Department for Fighting Corruption; cancelling real-time criticism and replacing it by retrospective criticism; enabling people who are being criticized to influence the issues due to which they were criticized – a situation of “the cat guarding the cream”; the saga of the recent Permit Committee whose members resigned and were replaced by new members appointed by Engelman. According to publications, most of these new members have no professional background in law and part of them is politically associated. It seems that all of these changes had been executed in order to enable the PM to evade returning monies he received without permission. And there’s more…

Due to all of these issues we have started a vast public struggle – within just a few days thousands of Israeli citizens signed our petition. We also demonstrated in front of the State Comptroller’s office: We will not let the State Comptroller give up the fight against corruption.

More from the Movement’s desk for this month

According to publications, Ayelet Shaked’s delegates allegedly offered to the PM’s delegates her influence on the Attorney General regarding Netanyahu’s legal affairs in return to removing the PM’s objection to her joining the Likud. Accordingly, we demanded from the AG to initiate a relevant investigation and, if it turns out that such an interaction did occur, he will release a statement clarifying that he had never been involved in it, nor any request reached him from Shaked’s side * After the Attorney General’s announcement of submitting an indictment against Minister Haim Katz, we demanded that the latter resigns or be dismissed. Further on Katz indeed resigned but kept his status as a Knesset Member. We call him to part with this role also – until his legal affairs became clear.