December 2019

December 2019 Activity Summary Report

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Our petition to the High Court of Justice forced Netanyahu to resign from his four roles as minister of Health, Agriculture, Welfare and Diaspora Affairs

Only following our petition to the High Court and after many weeks of his deliberate breaching of the law, Netanyahu announced his resigning from all his four ministerial roles due to his being indicted. It is indeed a significant advance albeit not sufficient; we call the Court to order the PM to resign from all of his roles, including this as Prime Minister.

Thanks to our petition, High Court suspended the appointment of an acting State Attorney that Minister Ohana tried to pass contrary to professional opinion

Temporary Minister of Justice Ohana tried, contrary to the opinion of professionals, to appoint as acting State Attorney a person who was lacking relevant experience. This was done while the current government is transitional so that there is severe suspicion that it is all about an attempt of producing targeted elimination of the State Attorney’s Office and that it is linked mainly to the PM’s investigation files. Due to this severe suspicion of the appointment being based on extraneous considerations, we petitioned to the High Court of Justice whose judges suspended the appointment – much to our satisfaction. Ohana is a temporary minister in a transitional, exceptional, government; his appointment was not confirmed by the Knesset and therefore did not gain the Public’s trust. In such a situation, a temporary minister should only preserve the given state of affairs until a permanent government is established and receives the Knesset’s trust. A temporary minister should not deal in such critical appointments and surely not to push, against expert stance, the appointment of a professionally lower-grade person whose relevant experience is insufficient.

Thousands of citizens joined our struggle against increase in Knesset Members’ salaries; many KMs have already given up the additional sum

At the year’s onset each Knesset member is about to receive ILS 1,232 salary addition. This issue has been on the agenda in spite of the Knesset having been on a sort of vacation for a whole year now, hence we regarded the issue as inappropriate and dishonest. Thousands of citizens joined our campaign and demonstration against this scandalous raise. Attentive to our criticism, some KMs notified the Knesset’s accountant of their giving up the addition while others announced they will donate this sum to social organizations. Regretfully, the rest of the KMs disregarded the public demand not to accept the raise.

Discussing our petition that demands to expose the document confirmed selling German submarine to Egypt

In Tel Aviv District Court we asked from the Ministry of Defense to find – and release – the document relating to the submarine deal between Germany and Egypt. People in the Ministry claimed that though they searched for it, they couldn’t find the document. Considering the State’s security, this conduct is unsettling and raises severe questions. How come a document so critical to the State’s security simply disappears? The Ministry of Defense could, at least, confirm or deny its existence. Regretfully, people in the Ministry evade replying to this so very simple question and keep telling us about the efforts invested in looking for the document, resulting in not knowing its whereabouts but assuming that it is not in their possession. The Public is entitled to know whether the document exists or not. Following this development we demanded a State Attorney examination and the establishing of criminal investigation of documents’ disappearance from ministries.

We stopped an illegitimate appointment of a CEO for El’ad municipality

About a month ago El’ad’s city council intended to appoint Shai Natan as the municipality’s CEO in spite of his incomplete cooling-off period – as required by the Municipal Ordinance – after serving in the City Council. We contacted the Ministry of Interiors promptly and demanded answers concerning this questionable appointment, arguing that this is an essentially invalid appointment. Later on the Ministry announced that this appointment was indeed incompatible with the threshold conditions for the office of a municipality CEO, an office that demands a cooling-off period, and so it was cancelled. We were pleased to have the Ministry joining our stance of denying improper appointments in the Civil Service.

We contacted the Attorney General: a minister in a transitional government should not appoint a permanent Police Inspector General

Appointing a permanent Police Inspector General in time of a transitional government is a totally problematic issue. Several weeks ago the Attorney General permitted Minister of Interiors Erdan to appoint a permanent Police Inspector General after he himself (the AG) detailed to the Minister of Justice the profound complication of appointing law enforcement and gate-keeping factors by members of a transitional government. This situation affects the reasonability range of the government’s actions. In order to ensure the Inspector General’s independence of the appointing factor, the political influence on the appointment must be as minimal as possible. Accordingly, the outgoing PM and his government’s members should not appoint anyone to any senior positions so that the mission of appointing will be secured for both future elected PM and government.

A bit of the Movement’s activity this month regarding municipal issues

We submitted a request for Freedom of Information in Tel Aviv Dolphinarium Affair * We had written to more than 100 local authorities that failed to issue Freedom of Information reports as is ordered by the Law * We contacted the water authority, the Minister of the Interior, and over 50 municipal water corporations that breached the law and harmed all of us financially *We addressed Bney Brak, Haife, Or Yehuda, El’ad, Ramat Hasharon, Beyt Aryeh and Kiryat Yam municipalities regarding irregularities and inappropriate appointments * We issued several communications regarding inappropriate appointments and suspicions of improper use of finances in local authorities * We demanded from the Ministry of the Interior to examine the lack of internal auditors appointments in local authorities.

More from the Movement’s Desk for this month

We argued in High Court of Justice that an indicted person should not be enabled to form a government; we demanded from the Knesset Chairman to discuss Netanyahu’s and other KMs’ immunity * We demanded from the Attorney General and from Minister of Justice Ohana to investigate the affairs of Effi Naveh * We acted concerning irregularities in the Chief Rabbinate * We firmly objected to bypassing the committee and to the amendment in the Party Funding Law by which the current parties will receive extra budgeting * We issued a letter of protest against an inappropriate appointment in The Ministry of Welfare’s Youth Sponsorship * We appeared in a discussion of IDF’s special committee for examining the forgery of numbers in ultra orthodox recruitment data; we appeared in a Knesset committee that discussed this issue and we also demanded from relevant factors to start a criminal investigation of it * We demanded from the Ministry of Finance to investigate an unlawful conduct concerning review budgets in Israel Lands Authority * We contacted the National Emergency Authority regarding the supply of shielding in the south of the country and along conflict lines in general * We issued an urgent letter to the State Comptroller regarding his order to his office staff to avoid collaborating with the police * We demanded from the State Comptroller not to postpone the publication of reports of parties funding and reports of funding the elections in local authorities and in the two previous Knesset elections campaigns * We petitioned for Freedom of Information regarding the operating of Ministry of Health’s methadone centers * We sent an urgent letter to the Knesset regarding the issue of increasing the elections budget; we have been considering to petition accordingly * We issued a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Transport and to the Israeli Ports Authority concerning Haifa Port’s Israel-China agreement * We required information concerning the reasons for granting amnesty to Nohi Dankner; we asked President Rivlin to refrain from confirming this amnesty * We continued procedures against the Ministry of Transport regarding the establishing of criteria for allowing driving in public traffic routes and for using emergency light&sound devices in vehicles *We delivered depositions supporting a request for protection order for a whistleblower in the Ministry of Defense * We addressed the State Comptroller and the Registrar of Associations concerning suspicion of alleged corruption in the Football Referees Association * We participated in a special lobby for discussing the status of law-enforcing authorities * We addressed the Knesset and the Government concerning the blocking the responds of citizens on internet pages financed by public money * We demanded from the Police Department for Internal Investigations to examine the striking of Ben Gurion Airport security guard * we contacted the Minister of Education concerning irregular payments of parents whose children are educated in national-religious schools.