August 2020

August 2020 Activity Summary Report

Requesting the Court to halt the appointment of a Police Inspector General

How come that Amir Okhana, who is Netanyahu’s proxy, will appoint a Police Inspector General who is supposed to administer the PM’s investigations?

We requested urgently from the Court to prevent Minister of the Interior Amir Okhana from appointing a permanent Police Inspector General. In this job as Minister of the Interior Okhana is Netanyahu’s proxy. At the same time several investigations concerning the PM are in progress. This is why Okhana’s status has been that of severe conflict of interests. The PM’s personal considerations should not interfere with considerations regarding the appointment of an Inspector General to Israel’s Police. Following, our petition gained an achievement when Netanyahu officially informed the Court that he will avoid dealing in the appointment of an Attorney General, a State Attorney or a Police Inspector General. We congratulated this message even though, as may be widely known, when he is formally uninvolved in such appointments, Netanyahu continues acting so through his proxies and yes-men/women. This is why our struggle is far from ending.

Win in the High Court of Justice: the demonstrations in front of the PM’s official residence in Jerusalem are allowed to continue despite the opposition of the neighborhood’s residents

The judges rejected the petition of Rekhavia Neighborhood’s residents to limit the demonstrations nearby the PM’s residence in Balfur Street. By deciding so they have protected the Right of Protesting – as we had demanded. In spite of all the attempts to stop the protest, it continues; due to our win in Court, demonstrations can continue in Balfur and elsewhere. We will persist in protesting against this detached government and against corruption. Regarding this, thousands of demonstrators joined as well the Movement’s protest in front of the PM’s house in Keysaria.

Election offenses and impersonation through SMSs are a threat to democracy. We appealed against closing an investigation of a false and impersonating SMS

Spread in a false and impersonating manner on behalf of the Movement for Quality Government on the day of municipal elections in Rishon Letzion, this SMS called for refraining from voting for one of the candidates. The Police have got all the means of locating spreaders of false messages – this had been done only recently concerning other issues. The Police also succeeded rather easily in locating spreaders of private pictures stolen from smart phones. So why, in this case, nothing has been done? The answer is simple: no one in the Police really cares. The Israeli Police relates to election offenses as to minor ones that do not harm anybody. This is a big mistake, since there is no way to evaluate or quantify the long-term damage caused by such offenses: it’s impossible to know how many changed their voting or how many avoided voting at all due to false messages, just as it is not known how deep is the damage caused to the right of electing and being elected. The phenomenon of impersonating through false messages should not be treated lightly, an attitude that enables the phenomenon’s growth. The Police have got a significant role in stopping the responsible people and exhaust the law in their cases; otherwise, we might arrive at a reality in which election offenses dictate the election’s results. This definitely is not democracy.

Resignation of Shaul Meridor, head of Budget Division in the Ministry of Finance: A public indictment against the Minister of Finance

In the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, with hundreds of thousands of unemployed citizens and the biggest State budget deficit ever, the Minister of Finance conducts in a promiscuous manner that utterly crushes the rules of proper administration. At this very time Minister Israel Katz regard it as relevant to attack personally his Ministry’s senior professionals whose only purpose is to fulfill their role of guarding the Public Funds and Israel’s economy. A life-wishing democracy must maintain a strong, independent, long-term visionary bureaucratic level. This truth is even more valid at a time of crisis. We need brave politicians but we need also the balance between them and the professionals, the ones who administer the system without any political dependency and without gaining any profit. Meridor’s resignation is a flashing warning light: whoever fails to understand this now and refuses to admit it will wake into a reality in which “bureaucrats” will be replaced by irresponsible “yesmen”.

Convicted criminals should be left out of the public arena! Removing Olmert’s criminal record should not be allowed

Recently it became known that former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and former State Comptroller Yoseph Shapira have been acting together in order to persuade President Rivlin to cancel the criminal record of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Such a decision will remove from Olmert the stigma that prevents him from returning to politics. We promptly conveyed our unambiguous objection to this move and demanded Rivlin’s immediate rejection of the request. The Court had convicted Olmert of deception, breach of trust and bribery and sentenced him to 16 months in prison. His returning to the public life is unthinkable!

Following an investigation opened due to our petition, Police recommends to prosecute the mayor of Kiryat Motzkin

The Police announced that there is evidential infrastructure against Haim Tzuri, Mayor of Kiryat Motzkin, for substantiating the suspect of his involvement in offenses of receiving bribe, breaching the Privacy Protection Law and other severe offenses. According to a debriefing article broadcasted in 2018, Tzuri and his collaborators within the Municipality used public money for operating a pool of computerized information that collected personal details of Kiryat Motzkin residents. They also used information of the local authority for the sake of Tzuri’s campaign in the municipal elections. In addition, benefits had been promised to those who would provide valuable information.     

Following this debriefing we demanded from the Attorney General and the acting Police Inspector General to start a criminal investigation of these events. Due to our interference, the Police indeed opened an investigation that yielded this recommendation to prosecute Tzuri.

Demanding to cancel the appointment of Jerusalem Municipal Comptroller

We addressed the Mayor of Jerusalem due to a severe fault in the sorting process of Ofra Brakha, who eventually was appointed Jerusalem Municipal Comptroller: the fact that she had to go through a cooling-off period was not brought to the attention of the Tenders Committee. Until recently, Brakha served as senior director of the Ministry of the Interior’s local authorities audit division. In other words, metaphorically just a minute before being appointed Jerusalem Municipal Comptroller she was in the status of supervising this very Municipality. According to the law, she had to go through a cooling-off period of at least one year before being employed by the Municipality. This didn’t happen, nor was it brought to the attention of the committee that appointed her.

More from the Movement’s desk for this month

We petitioned against three local authorities in the country’s North for failing to appoint internal auditors since the elections for local authorities two years ago * 14 ministers have not submitted their financial statements yet – have they got anything to hide?! We demand from all of the ministers to submit their financial statements promptly * We demanded from the Attorney General to refrain from signing a facilitating deal for Knesset Member Haim Katz. This deal will enable Katz to carry on with public roles despite the decision of submitting a grave indictment against him * Half a year without a State Attorney?! Halfa year from the former State Attrney’sconclusion of term but still no permanent SA has been appointed. We demanded from Minister of Justice Avi Nissenkorn to use his authority of appointing a permanentState Attorney: hard to believe that such an important role will be executed by persons only temporarily appointed!*We demand to know whether political considerationswere the reason for cancelling the security measures granted to former Minister of Defense Naftali Bennet. In Israel, ministers of defense had been provided with close security measures for years after retiring in order to protect them due to the highly sensitive information to which they had access during their office. Maintaining this directive is first and foremost a security interest that should not be affected by political considerations * Due to documentation of the harsh incident during a demonstration near the PM’s residence in Jerusalem in which a police officer attacked one of the demonstrators with brutal violence, we demanded from the acting Police General Inspector and from the Minister of the Interior to suspend this officer – Deputy Superintendent Nisso Guetta – from his service * Adv. Dr. Eliad Shraga, our Movement’s Chairman, was chosen by TheMarker magazine as one of 2020 Israel’s 100 most influencing persons. Congratulations to Eliad! This choice clarifies once again that the fight against corruption is substantially present in the Israeli reality and is an urgent and critical need for our State.