February 2023

February 2023 Activity Summary Report

We petitioned the Supreme Court of Justice: Netanyahu should be declared incapable of continuing his office!

In our petition we requested the Supreme Court to consider Netanyahu’s incapacity as Prime Minister. These days Netanyahu has been breaching the conflict of interest arrangement established with him as a criminal defendant. As such, he is prevented from interfering in legal issues the way he does by appointing Knesset member Amsalem as an additional minister in the Ministry of Justice and as a member of the Judicial Selection Committee. Worse, he is forbidden to apply changes to the judicial system – changes that essentially constitute a coup – such as appointing and promoting judges on his behalf or subordinating to the government  the law enforcement system and the investigating of attorneys,

 all in order to have an effect on his criminal proceedings. In the petition we argued that the criminal defendant PM Netanyahu chose to cross any line of conduct under conflict of interest and to subjugate to his will all the institutions that are in charge of his prosecution and his criminal trial. This follows a past petition we submitted to the Supreme Court against Netanyahu’s serving as prime minister while he is charged with three indictments. The Court decided that he was allowed to take office on condition that he signs a conflict of interest arrangement. Recently the Attorney General explained to the government that due to this agreement, Netanyahu is prevented from dealing in the judicial reform whatsoever but it seems that he does not stop at all. Moreover, he nowadays appoints another minister to the Ministry of Justice and a member on his behalf to the Judicial Selection Committee.

So what is the trouble with the reform in the judicial system? We prepared a detailed position paper

Our legal team wrote a position paper explaining meticulously all that should be known. The complete paper is readily available in our site (https://bit.ly/3YJMu5F). In the social networks we keep publishing summaries of significant sections of this position paper, a different subject each time. The subject we published this month was the Judicial Selection Committee that is authorized to appoint, promote and dismiss judges and the Supreme Court President. When the Government (=the coalition) maintains full control of the Committee, it means subordination of the Judiciary to the Government. Currently the committee comprises 3 judges, 2 ministers, 2 Knesset Members elected by the Knesset in a secret ballot and 2 professional representatives (e.g. lawyers). The Committee’s composition has not changed since 1953 and so it is possible to maintain the Judiciary’s independence and secure the checks and balances between the three authorities. Now, however, the coalition wishes to pass an amendment to the basic law that means overwhelming majority of the coalition and the government in the Judicial Selection Committee while cancelling the present mutual right of veto in the process of selecting judges. Though already today the government has got a full right of veto on selecting judges, still the government’s members are unsatisfied and wish to have full control of the committee – control of selecting, promoting and dismissing them. The new composition that has been proposed turns basic conventions that have been kept by all the governments since 1953. For the first time ever, this proposal comprises 3 ministers on behalf of the government, 3 Knesset members (of them, 2 of the coalition that is actually the government), and three judges that two of them will be retired judges selected by the Minister of Justice (with the consent of the Supreme Court President). Thus, no professional representatives will be included in the committee. The bottom line is a Judicial Selection Committee in which the coalition (=the government) will have a constant overwhelming majority! This way, the Judiciary will be utterly subdued to the Legislature. Don’t get confused by other information: this is not a reform, it’s a coup.

The protest continues in full power!
This month we continued acting in protest against the regime change. Together with hundreds of thousands we demonstrated daily in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other places across the country. We continue operating our permanent protest tent located in Agranat Square between the Supreme Court and the Knesset in Jerusalem. Many arrive there to join our unique activities and to listen to lectures about the quality of government and the regime change. Many bring along their children to participate in our special child-related activities and many take part in our guided tours of the Supreme Court building. We also carried out conferences and meetings in which we explained to the general public the regime change's consequences. Among other things this month, we held a conference relating to the regime change's effects on the State's security and together with hundreds of thousands we demonstrated in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem while inside a vote was held on the first laws of the regime change.
We called the Histadrut Chairman: This is the time to join the shutdown of the economy as part of the fight against the coup!
We sent an urgent letter to the Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar David in a call to attach the Histadrut's workers to the shutdown of the economy. The letter detailed that the judiciary revolution would severely harm Israel's economy and that it is almost impossible to estimate the revolution's overall effects and derivatives. The Movement contacted the heads of other workers organizations including those of the pilots, the teachers, the banks, the stock exchange, the state attorneys, the medical doctors and the presidency of the business sector. We have been experiencing a critical period in the history of the Israeli democracy; therefore we expect the Histadrut and the rest of the workers' organizations to join the protest for securing Israel's future!
Why does Deri continue controlling the Ministries from which he was dismissed?
We contacted the Government's Attorney General
We requested the Attorney General to examine prosecuting Deri for contempt of court and demanded from her to start proceedings against him regarding this issue. According to publications the ex-minister continues functioning as an actual minister: he participates in cabinet meetings and holds regular work meetings with Government's seniors and with civil servants of the professional rank in the Ministries of Interior and Health. This conduct practically violates the clear judgment decided by a composition of 11 Supreme Court judges. It seems that Deri functions as an "acting minister" of the Interior and Health Ministries; this conduct counters the clear order against him and might be considered as violation of Article 6 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance. Hence, Deri not only degrades the Court – he also drags with him the Ministries' professional rank to the same situation of Contempt of Court! The citizens of Israel deserve honest and loyal Ministers of Interior and Health and not one who does his job by deception and contempt of the Supreme Court. We deserve a minister who considers us, the citizens, important! We do not want a minister who performs his work for us as if by the way.  
We submitted complaints to the Ethics Committee concerning the appalling statements of Knesset Members Almog Cohen and Tali Gottlieb
Concerning KM Almog Cohen, we requested the Knesset Members' Ethics Committee to summon Cohen to account for his behavior on the night of the regime coup voting. During that night Cohen, directly from the Knesset plenum and via social networks, sent videos in which he shouted insulting and racist phrases toward opposition members. We claim that these are harsh, extreme and inappropriate expressions coming from one Knesset Member to others in a way that disgraces the Knesset's dignity. We asked the Ethics Committee to summon KM Cohen for a clarification and even to impose a severe disciplinary sanction on him. We expect the Knesset to act as a lighthouse for the Israeli society and not as a reflection of this society's ailments. We hope that the Committee will explain this concept to Cohen. As for KM Tali Gottlieb, we requested the Ethics Committee to impose a disciplinary sanction on her due to her statements against the Supreme Court President Ester Hayut and against the Government Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara. KM Gottlieb favored to blame President Hayut and Attorney General Miara of responsibility for the recent terror attacks. Not only did she refuse to withdraw her remarks and to apologize, she even repeated them. We claimed that though there is a proper way to criticize, KM Gottlieb's way to do so fails to suit the status of a society leader. Expressions of the kind she used cannot serve as a model of a public official's behavior and should not be uttered in the parliament. We ask the Committee to use its authority and summon KM Gottlieb urgently to a meeting in which she will account for her words.
More from the Movement Desk
We called the Government Attorney General to stop Minister of Communication Shlomo Karhi's reform initiative that was meant to harm the public broadcasting corporation and its independence - this initiative is unlawful. We also asked her to order that the Prime Minister is forbidden from dealing with this issue due to the conflict of interest arrangement to which he is committed. * Prior to the huge demonstration in front of the Knesset there had been an attempt of the Police to prevent it from taking place in the usual location where demonstrations were always held. Already in the same day we submitted an urgent petition against this attempt and the Court demanded the Police to answer within a few hours. Eventually, the demonstration was successfully implemented and the Public's voice was heard very clearly.