March 2019

March 2019 Activity Summary Report

The Submarines Affair: Critical exposure following our contacting the Attorney General; demanding an investigation completion

Following our appeal to him, the Attorney General of Israel announced that PM Netanyahu did not consult him and did not asked for his opinion before making the decision of selling the submarines to Egypt. Regarding the Affair, this exposure is highly important and reinforces our concept of the need to execute an investigation completion. Already last year we had demanded investigation completions in the Affair, referring also to the subject of selling the submarines to Egypt. This month new developments have occurred: First, the testimony of Amos Gil’ad (formerly the Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Ministry of Defense) from which it emerged that PM Netanyahu was the one who authorized Germany to sell submarines to Egypt; second, the publications containing claims that Netanyahu had been holding shares of a steel-producing company that one of its main clients was Thyssenkrupp, the submarine manufacturer. Due to these developments we recontacted the Attorney General in demand to implement investigation completions. We have also launched a vast public struggle – joined by thousands of citizens – in order to express the demand of establishing an all-inclusive investigation committee for the affair.

Stop spamming the public during the elections – we petitioned for charging the parties with identifying in text messages and enabling the option of removing them

Citizens’ smartphones are being flooded with text messages sent by the parties, sometimes with no identification or a removing option, with information not exactly correct, and with other occurrences. We have collected hundreds – if not thousands – of screenshots from the public and petitioned the Elections Committee for issuing an immediate order of enforcing the obligation of identified messages and of adding the option of removing those messages from mailing lists.

We petitioned against parties’ forbidden propaganda – and results are already here

In addition to bad language and shallow messages, it seems that the current elections campaign has brought on even actual offenses of the Propaganda Law by some of the parties. This month we had petitioned thrice regarding this issue. First petition is against Hayamin Hachadash for unlawfully using the death of seven soldiers in the Shaja’iyya Disaster during 2014 Tzuk Eytan conflict. Second petition is against Ha’avoda party’s prohibited use of the image of Beni Masas of blessed memory, hero of the Hermon Battle. Third petition is against Shas party that allegedly decided to approve of election bribery and launched a project of granting its potential voters with letters in a luxurious Torah scroll that was to be transported to the Western Wall. This last petition has already won and, following our petition against Ha’avoda, people from this party had announced the removal of the related video clip.

We petitioned the High Court of Justice to ban profiteering of mandates

In the current elections, Eli Ben Dehan runs as part of a “shelf party” united with the Likud, while the after-elections intention is to have him return to his base party with a mandate that does not belong there at all. This is an explicit injury to the democratic play rules – an offense to the democratic institution of parties and lists, to governance, to the vote threshold and to the Public’s trust in its elected officials and in the government as a whole. We petitioned the High Court of Justice in demand to instruct the Elections Committee to resume discussing this issue.

Demanding to expose all about the controversies between the Prosecution and the Attorney General concerning Netanyahu’s indictments: Bribery or just breach of trust?

The Attorney General’s decision concerning the cases in which Netanyahu had been interrogated was published this month. The decision’s text stated that the State Prosecutor and Tel Aviv District Attorney (taxation and economics) opposed the Attorney General’s decision and were positive of prosecuting Netanyahu for more severe offenses in files 1000 and 2000. Stating the prosecutors’ objection to the Attorney General’s opinion without publishing their whole opposing outlook raises many questions and undermines the Public’s trust concerning this decision. We contacted the Attorney General and the Prosecution in demand to publish the complete outlook. The Public is fully entitled to know the Prosecution’s complete opinion concerning the reasons to prosecute Netanyahu for more severe offenses, including bribery.

Calling the Minister of Welfare to hold the closing of hostels for at-risk girls

Over the last months we have received a lot of contacts concerning fear of harming proper administration at the Welfare Ministry’s authority of “Youth Protection”. During recent weeks these contacts increased after it became clear that no less than 5 hostels for girls will be closed in the near future due to a “reform” – a procedure backed up by a two-pages only document that fails to explain why the hostels will be closed and how this act will be carried out. Closing the hostels without an alternative solution for the accommodated girls will have critical consequences for the girls’ future. This move witnesses to the unprofessional, harmful and completely arbitrary conduct of the people in charge of the subject. We addressed Welfare Minister Haim Katz in demand to stop the move until the introduction of a decision based on proper considerations and appropriate factual foundation. The Welfare Ministry’s conduct following the public pressure to prevent closing the hostels is utterly odd and astonishing: The Ministry’s senior officials announced the Ministry’s intention to close the hostels due to renovations! Renovations fixed without detailing timetables and without any reference to the girls’ situation during this whole period? How come the renovations are due to be implemented in all of the hostels simultaneously? Though the State has taken responsibility for these girls, they are now being thrown out to the streets without having any alternate accommodation and with their futures unclear. This whole conduct raises many questions! We are looking forward to Minister Katz’s decision, one that will follow proper administration rules and will implement procedures in a professional – and not offensive – manner.

Demanding from Bennett and Shaked to remove their campaign that compares the Court of Law to Hamas

This month Hayamin Hachadash launched a campaign headlined “Shaked will conduct the High Court of Justice, Bennett will defeat Hamas” – and we were left stunned by the hallucinatory comparison between Israel’s Supreme Court and a murderous terror organization, an enemy. Is there no boundary these two will not pass in order to achieve votes and mandates? Their campaign’s headline joins a list of shocking video clips that cynically uses the Shaja’iyya Disaster and the horrendous murder of Ori Ansbacher of blessed memory – all done in order to incite against the Court. It seems that these two, Bennett and Shaked, have forgotten that a minister’s role was not to “conduct” the Court. They apparently forgot what we’d all studied at Citizenship classes about separation of powers and about checks and balances – the factors that are supposed to prevent exactly the very reality that the Minister of Justice tries to achieve, namely – tyranny of the Executive Authority. It is the Knesset that should – and is able to – limit the Court and the Judiciary Authority but it is there, in the Knesset, that Shaked had little success in passing anti-democratic laws that suited her new election-slogan. Precisely the person who is in charge of the judicial array in Israel, Shaked is the one who lashes out at this system and its personnel who are the very foundation upon which the Israeli democracy is based. Precisely the person who wishes for the Minister of Defense role, Bennett is the one who makes the awkward comparison between the foundation of the Israeli democracy and a nasty terror organization. We’ve made it clear to Bennett and Shaked that this campaign must be stopped right away. We also launched a public struggle which many citizens have joined.