November 2018

November 2018 Activity Summary Report

Demanding from Netanyahu to give up part of his minister’s positions in five (!) ministries

Netanyahu is Prime Minister but also Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Health and – if this was not enough – also Deputy Minister of Immigration and Absorption. It is unreasonable not to have all of these significant offices operated by ministers who will be dedicated completely to the ministerial work. In the meanwhile, the State of Israel has got no full-time Minister of Foreign Affairs, no full-time Ministers of Defense and of Health either – in spite of the highly important issues these ministries deal with. Added to this situation is the fear of resulting defects in Netanyahu’s functioning as Prime Minister and the worry about the meaning of great measure of power held by only one man.

Following all of these reasons we demand from Netanyahu to start giving up part of the offices he holds. We addressed also Attorney General Mandelblit concerning this issue. Already, our call has been joined by hundreds of citizens.

Demanding the suspension of the Airports Authority’s Chairman who is suspected of accepting bribes in connection with the Submarines Affair

Involved in this grave affair are senior security persons and close associates of the PM. Among them is Major-General (res.) former Navy Commander-in-Chief Elazar “Chiny” Marom, who is suspected of accepting bribes, of fraud, of breach of trust, of conspiring for committing a crime and of money laundering. In return he allegedly received over ILS 500,000 out of the Public’s pocket when the subject at hand was initially the State’s most sensitive issue – its security. In spite of his being interrogated, Chiny is still employed as chairman of one of the largest governmental organizations: the Ministry of Transportation’s Airports Authority. Is it logical that a person suspected of accepting bribes will lead an organization that receives huge State’s budgets? How is it possible that a suspect of fraud and breach of trust will be one of a number of people who make decisions relevant to the lives of the very public whose money he allegedly embezzled?

We addressed the Minister of Transportation in demand to immediately suspend Chiny from his office until the Court will formulate its decision concerning the accusations against him.

The saga of appointing the Police Inspector General

The Minister of Public Security Erdan’s choice for this role was Major-General (ret.) Mosheh (Chico) Edri. It turned out that Edri did not undergo occupational adjustment examinations (including a polygraph test) which are obligatory for candidates for even lesser positions in the police. This way an absurd situation was created, by which the future highest person of the organization will be exempted from this significant procedure.

We insisted that the examinations will be applied and were happy to realize that this eventually happened. Following the Appointing Committee’s decision to reject Edri’s candidacy we explained to Minister Erdan that it will be inappropriate to appoint Edri in spite of this decision. To our relief, also this intended move had been blocked.

In conclusion, this whole affair ended with leaving bad taste on all sides. We, however, continue following the procedures of appointing the next Inspector General.

Following our contacting the Chief of Staff, IDF promised to keep the soldiers’ right to vote in the local authorities elections

Toward the second round of the local authorities elections we received many complains from soldiers and their parents concerning cases in which soldiers who were out on training were denied their right to vote by their commanders. This decision was justified by logistical and other pretexts. If this indeed will become factual, then thousands – if not tens of thousands – of soldiers’ votes that will not materialize in the elections might have an impact on the results in many local authorities.

This is the reason for our urgent call on the Chief of Staff, explaining to him that each soldier is entitled to this civil right of voting and that if it is denied we will consider all legal steps available. To our joy the military promised to enable all soldiers the right of voting, while we encouraged them to contact us on any problematic case so that we could act accordingly.

The High Court of Justice: The Movement’s petition’s aim has been achieved – police-interrogated Effi Naveh will not participate in the Judicial Selection Committee’s meetings

According to publications Effi Naveh, Chairperson of Israel Bar Association, was interrogated with caution in suspicion of fraud and of breaching the law of Entering the State of Israel. Though according to publications Naveh already confessed the allegations related to him, the Minister of Justice did not demand his withdrawal from participating in the Judicial Selection Committee. We regard this situation as an utterly clear case of conflict of interests: it is illogical to let a suspect decide the appointment of judges when there is a chance to have those very persons judging him in the future. This is an odd choice that raises questions regarding the law enforcement system and, again, harms the Public’s trust in it. The committee’s decisions, cleanliness, integrity and professionalism will be doubted as long as Nave continues participating in it simultaneously with his interrogation. We contacted the Minister of Justice regarding this issue and also called the President of the High Court to suspend Effi Naveh from the committee. We also petitioned to the High Court that, though rejecting the petition, stated that the petition’s aim has been achieved for the time being due to Naveh’s announcement of quitting his participation in the committee. The judges also supported the Movement’s concept of the need to secure the purity of the judges’ election procedure.

We, needless to note, continue our follow-up.

Calling the Prime Minister to cease the rotations in the Cabinet

According to the law, the number of ministers participating in the State Security Cabinet should be up to half the number of the Government’s ministers. Since currently there are 19 ministers, the Cabinet should comprise up to 9 ministers while actually there are more. It seems that political considerations have taken the place of security ones. In order to preserve the current situation the PM opted for rotations: For one month Minister Ze’ev Elkin will participate in the Cabinet and for the next – Minister Yuval Steinitz.

The Cabinet should be a solid and balanced forum due to the crucial issues (war or not, life and death) discussed in it. It is no place of granting political rewards or of playing who sits where and when. Since the PM himself said that the Cabinet holds “no place for politics, no place for personal considerations”, we call him to act for the sake of a stable and consistent cabinet by stopping the rotation: here there is no place for politicization.