January 2022

January 2022 Activity Summary Report

Huge triumph for the struggling against corruption, for the national security and for the Movement: The government confirmed the outset of a state inquiry committee for the Submarines Affair

About 4 years ago we started leading this struggle. At first we collected information, performed examinations, cross-checked data and talked to dozens of people involved in the Affair; we found new and critical evidential materials. Further on we collected detailed statements from more than 50 commanders who were all senior figures in the State’s security institution along the years: Chiefs of the General Staff, Major Generals, Heads of the Mossad and Shabbak . These statements were attached to our petition to the Supreme Court, a petition demanding to establish a state commission of inquiry for the Submarines Affair. The struggle was not only at the legal level – we also led a public protest that accelerated by the week: we carried submarine dummies while marching in Balfur, Keysaria, Tel Aviv and across the country; together with tens of thousands of people we demonstrated in front of the Knesset, the Government’s meetings and the Supreme Court; we saw to it that the Affair’s details will reach each and every Israeli home; we initiated a huge media campaign in order to let everyone access to the true story behind the Affair; we produced a ten-parts insightful series that garnered millions of views. We have boosted our activity since the new government’s formation: our security forum’s representatives, together with the Movement Chairman Adv. Dr. Eliad Shraga, met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and with many senior ministers. We thank the ministers who were very attentive to us, in particular Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Minister of Justice Gideon Saar who submitted to the Knesset a Decision-Makers Proposal of establishing a state commission of inquiry for the Affair. We also thank the Movement’s security forum that comprises former Chiefs of the General Staff and Ministers of Defense, Major Generals and senior officers. To the newly established commission we wish success in the important mission of completely clarifying all the procedures of decision making in the different affairs. To sum up: soon the State’s most serious corruption case ever will finally begin to be properly investigated.

Demanding to remove “counselor” Deri from the Knesset

Just one day after pledging he will retire from public life, Aryeh Deri has already been trying to make a comeback to the Knesset. He stated in the media that he intended to continue his political activity and his role as Shas Party’s chairman. According to reports, he was also appointed parliamentary counselor to Shas, that has already been acting for issuing a special approval for his attending the Plenum and continue managing the Opposition’s voting the way he used to do before. All was done as if nothing had been changed, as if he was not convicted of severe offenses, as if he did not pledge before the Court to refrain from returning to public life. Only due to his commitment not to return to public life did Deri receive an easing plea bargain of reduced severity of offenses and without request for disgrace. Yet he did exactly the opposite of his pledge less than a day afterwards. It is unthinkable that Deri will deceive the Court and the whole Public – he should be prevented from returning to the Knesset. Already upon the publication of signing this shameful plea bargain we petitioned the Supreme Court against it, and now it is obvious that we were absolutely right. We immediately turned to the Knesset Chairman to make him realize that it was within his authority to decide whether to let Deri act as a parliamentary counselor in the Knesset. We turned also to the Knesset Legal Counsel regarding the same issue. In addition we demanded from the State Attorney Office to appeal to the Court. We stated that Deri breached the plea bargain granted to him only because he pledged to leave the public life. Our public struggle was joined by thousands of citizens who signed our petition. It is essential to return to the Court and demand to inflict disgrace on him. More with regard to Deri, we demanded to remove the video clip he uploaded to the social media, presenting nutrition security coupons financed by the State as “Deri Coupons”. This is an abuse of State properties for the sake of propaganda. We stressed that if this clip is not removed we will petition.

We petitioned the Supreme Court: Who permitted Knesset Members to receive, without the authority to do so, external financing of their flights abroad?

According to the Knesset ethics, external and private financing of KMs’ flights can be confirmed only by the Knesset Ethics Committee. The problem is that currently there is no such committee! So how come that external funding of KMs’ flights is being confirmed?

In a discussion at the Knesset’s Finance Committee we demanded: Do not let Alfred Akirov take over our pension money!

Adv. Ariel Barzilai, director of the Movement’s economic section, took part in a highly important discussion at the Finance Committee: the possible take-over of Clal Insurance Company by Alfred Akirov. We were satisfied to realize that this issue has been bothering, and rightly so, also the Knesset members of both the coalition and the opposition, especially the Committee’s Chairman KM Alex Kushnir and KM Yaakov Mergi (the one who initiated discussing the issue) who understood well the danger of this possible take-over and have been acting against the centralization in the economy. During the discussion, Knesset members criticized the Capital Market Authority and we too were concerned about this authority’s arguments as presented in the meeting. In no way can Akirov have permission to gain control of Clal – this is about the pension money of us all. We have been struggling and intend to go on doing so in order to protect the public interest and our pension money. In addition to our participation in the Finance Committee, we demonstrated regarding this issue in front of the office of the Capital Market Authority’s Insurance Commissioner.

Following our petition: the State announced the examination of Netanyahu’s Document Shredding Affair

In August 2021we petitioned in demand to investigate the affair of shredding documents in the previous prime minister’s office a short while prior to the change of government. We recently received the State’s answer, announcing that a professional investigation of the issue is underway.

The lobbyists’ activity in the government ministries will be regulated thanks to our activity!

Following years of our being active and demanding to do so, the legal counsel of the Civil Service Commission announced it prepared a draft of an amendment to the Civil Service regulations. This amendment will at last apply transparency, disciplinary rules, restrictions and enforcement to the lobbyists’ activities connected to civil servants in the government ministries.

More from the Movement’s desk for January

We petitioned the Supreme Court against the illegitimate foot-dragging of the Attorney General with regard to making a decision in KM Litzman’s case. Thanks to this petition a decision has been recently made. Currently we have been studying the shameful plea bargain that had been signed with Litzman. * We petitioned the Supreme Court against the Prime Minister Office that keeps ignoring a highly severe report of the State Comptroller and refuses to rectify the defects in the PM new residence project, defects that cost millions to the public coffers. * We fight for your privacy! We petitioned against the Privacy Protection Authority that fails in monitoring illegal data bases and refuses to respond to the Public’s questions for months on end. * We advanced in the Knesset another step in a legislation amendment that is highly important for protecting whistleblowers. This amendment will enable whistleblowers more time for acting against their abusing employers in order to gain their full rights. * We keep fighting for the Public’s privacy also by opposing illegal intrusion of the Police into private devices. We demanded from the Minister of Internal Security to establish a relevant government examination committee. We will not let go of this issue until every detail will be checked. * We fought the attempt to advance a scandalous plea bargain with former Prime Minister Netanyahu. If and whenever this idea will surface again, we’ll be there to fight against it. * We continued our struggle for establishing the State Audit Committee that has been paralyzed for nearly one year now. * We requested from the legal counsel of the PM Office to monitor the return of the missing gifts that “disappeared” from the PM’s residence during the change of government. * We fought the Police’s violence against demonstrators and the illegal use of water cannons. We talked about this issue in the Knesset’s Internal Security Committee. * We continued our struggle against the phenomenon of the illegitimate lobbyists and machers in the Knesset. Due to our interference, the Civil Service Regulations has been amended these very days. * Thanks to your donations we continue accompanying whistleblowers throughout their contacts with different Courts – including the Labor Courts – and with the State Comptroller. * Following our interference, a committee for examining the suspension of indicted mayors was established. This month Tsvika Gendelman, Mayor of Hadera, was suspended. He is charged with the offenses of fraud, breach of trust, receiving anything fraudulently and obstruction of justice. * We continued fighting corruption and improper administration in local authorities! We requested the Police and the State Comptroller to check suspicions of improper conduct in Afula, Haifa, Kiryat Shmona, Omer, and other towns across the country. * We requested the State Attorney Office to decide in the cases of the mayors of Or Akiva and Kiryat Motzkin. The two have been subjected to long and continuous investigation procedures that harm the municipalities’ proper functioning and the residents of these towns. * Also in times between election campaigns we continued acting against improper use of public resources for advancing prohibited election propaganda both in local and national government. * We continued monitoring the Knesset Members’ expenses and the return of parties’ debts. We will not let go of these issues until all the money was returned to the public coffers. * We struggle also against the cost of living! Our economic team continues acting determinedly; we definitely anticipate a busy month due to this issue. * We submitted to the relevant newly established public committee a detailed and reasoned position paper relating to the outline of the State’s financial regulation. We recommended establishing a joint committee of the financial regulators and the Competition Authority. * We met the chairperson of the Israeli Citizens’ Fund (aka the Wealth Fund) committee in order to remove the veil of confidentiality from whatever is linked to this fund. * We have been acting continuously against the threats of Zim Company to leave Israel unless the tax policy changes in its favor. * We acted against prolonging Rotem Ampart’s phosphate tender. * We acted for exposing ICL’s State-approved exemptions from paying for the water produced in the areas of Dead Sea Works. * This month too, we kept staying in touch with you through our lectures in home circles, mechinot (educational preparatory institutes) and universities. We reached more than 200 people. Keep inviting us – we’ll keep coming.