November 2019

November 2019 Activity Summary Report

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Huge demonstration: Following his indictment – Netanyahu must resign!

After the Attorney General announced the indictment of the PM, we have demanded Netanyahu’s resignation from all his roles. A prime minister is not capable of serving simultaneously with being indicted – it is impossible to run a state from the defendant’s bench. In addition to petitioning the Supreme Court about the issue, we initiated a demonstration joined by more than 15000 people who shared our demand for the PM’s resignation. We also petitioned the High Court of Justice regarding this very demand; the petition was rejected due to the Knesset’s dissolution and the advancing of the elections, but the struggle has just begun and we are determined to continue struggling both legally and publicly until Netanyahu resigns. We also called publicly to the Knesset Members to refrain from granting Netanyahu immunity: he should proof his innocence in the Court and not evade the legal procedure by hiding behind the option of immunity.

Following our petition: Netanyahu resigned from his ministerial offices

We petitioned the High Court of Justice in demand that Netanyahu resigns from his additional roles as Minister of Health and Minister of Welfare. Already almost 30 years ago the High Court of Justice, in one of our first petitions, determined that an indicted minister must be dismissed from his office. However, in spite of the indictment against him and over a long time, Netanyahu avoided resigning from his ministerial offices. This was the reason for our petition, only after which Netanyahu did resign accordingly.

Demanding to re-open the Submarines Affair

Already a year ago we had contacted the Attorney General, the State Attorney and the acting Police Inspector General and demanded to re-open the investigation in the Submarines Affair. The investigation’s completions revealed claims of hiding from the security superiors facts relating to the cost of the submarines purchased by Israel while other claims referred to Germany’s selling the submarines to Egypt. As for Netanyahu, it was claimed that in 2009 he was holding shares of a steel-producing company that one of its main clients was the German company that sold the submarines to Egypt. In the meanwhile Amos Gil’ad, former head of the defense-political branch in the Ministry of Defense, stated that opposite to Netanyahu’s claims that Germany did not need – and therefore did not get – Israel’s confirmation to sell the submarines, it was indeed Netanyahu who confirmed for Germany to do so. All of these occurrences reinforced our demands to resume the investigation and also to establish a State Committee of Inquiry that will relate to the whole affair. It is crucial to find out, once and for all, what exactly had happened regarding the submarines sold to Israel as well as those sold to Egypt, what were the security implications of the affair – especially of selling the submarines to Egypt – and what precisely was the PM’s involvement in the whole affair especially when considering, as had been published, the shares he was holding. There are yet many more questions that emerge and require thorough and earnest inquiry.

Demanding to establish a committee for clarifying unequivocally the Ruth David Affair

Throughout more than a year we had been asking the former Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked to order the establishing of a committee for examining this affair, whose case has been closed by the Attorney General. During this time we sent letters, e-mails and faxes to which the only response was a roaring silence. After a year of this disregard, we petitioned the High Court of Justice in the hope of getting there the required support, but the Court refrained from interfering with Shaked’s discretion. Not giving up, whereupon Ohana’s appointment as Minister of Justice we addressed him with this very same request to which we had got no answer whatsoever. Ironically, in his speech Ohana used Ruth David Affair as an example of the Attorney’s malfunction in checking its conduct, while he is the one who refuses to establish a relevant examining committee and does not even bother to respond to our appeals regarding this issue. We call again to Minister Ohana: if this subject is of such importance to you, this is the time for a committee that will examine the case comprehensively and will expose what exactly happened in Tel Aviv District Attorney and how to prevent future occurrences of this kind. Thousands of citizens joined the public petition we have been running for years now, calling to establish this committee.

We demand to investigate: did Minister Ohana breached a gag order and so committed contempt of Court?

Speaking in Knesset, it seems that Minister Ohana allegedly breached a gag order by exposing details from the investigation of Nir Hefetz, the state witness in Portfolio 4000. Therefore, we called for an investigation to find out whether the minister breached the gag order deliberately and if so, is it considered contempt of Court.

We petitioned: why is there no reference to the law of acknowledging whistleblowers?

A law designated to support whistleblowers and honor their contribution to the society had been enacted already in 1992; this is the Law for Encouraging Integrity. However since then, nearly three decades ago, the law had been applied only twice. Last year we petitioned against Ayelet Shaked, then Minister of Justice, in order to effectuate the law. This petition led to publishing a call to recommend candidates for receiving certificates of appreciation. This year we realized that the current Minister of Justice Amir Ohana did nothing for the sake of continuing the process. It is not about just a minister who does not apply a law, but about disdaining a leading law whose purpose is to help whistleblowers, these brave individuals who stand in the front of the fight against corruption and who many times pay heavily for their insistence to fulfill the law and to treasure integrity. We petitioned the High Court of Justice in demand to order the Minister to maintain the law’s instructions.

The provisional government keeps appointing more and more ministers without the Knesset’s approval

A provisional government is a temporary hybrid creation that has long lost the trust of the Knesset (that represents the people) and is not to do anything besides preserving the existing situation and taking care that nothing breaks. Many years ago our legislators could not possibly imagine a situation in which a provisional government functions for nearly a year and parallel to already the second Knesset that did not authorize this government. For years it was customary that – apart from cases of emergency – during a provisional government there are no appointments or dismissals but only preserving of the existing format until the next constant government, a true government that will receive the Knesset’s and the People’s trust. Seven months ago Netanyahu dismissed Bennet and Shaked and up to now, throughout the provisional government’s eight months, he had appointed major ministers for no apparent logical reason. Prior to appointing Bennet Netanyahu also appointed Ohana, Peretz, Smotrich, Amsalem, Katz, Shasha Biton and Galant as ministers without the Knesset’s approval of these appointments. Without this approval, the Public Voice is literally unheard. We would have expected of the outgoing PM of this provisional government to act reasonably and refrain from appointing ministers solely according to his decision, in a manner that brings to mind autocracy.

Withholding of wages for social workers and psychologists in places bordering Gaza Strip

We addressed the government urgently following the withholding of wages for therapists (psychologists, social workers etc.) in towns and villages around Gaza Strip while the people living there have been under continuing terror attacks. Later on, many welfare workers received their wages.