November 2020 Activity summary Report
The Submarine Supreme Court Case: Following Mandelblit’s intention to close the Stocks Portfolio, we submitted an amended petition
After Mandelblit’s announcement of his intention to close the Stocks Portfolio, we submitted to the High Court of Justice a modified and updated petition concerning the Submarines Affair. Everything should be investigated: Netanyahu’s stocks, his contacts with his cousin, selling submarines to Egypt, the submarines forced on IDF and weighed heavily on it financially – everything. The High Court agreed to discuss this modified petition and set a date for it. In addition, the Court accepted our stance and rejected Mandelblit’s request to delete the Stocks Affair from the petition. Simultaneously, we welcomed Gantz’s announcement of his decision to establish a check committee in the Ministry of Defense concerning the Submarines Affair, however we had to remind that this step is not enough. Hence we demanded from Gantz to go active about establishing a proper State Committee of Inquiry. We also demanded from Minister of Justice Nissenkorn to use his ministerial authority in order to get the government’s granting of investigative powers to the committee. In addition we announced that we will submit to the committee tens of depositions of seniors in the security forces regarding the Affair, depositions that we had acquired over years by extensive research and submitted to the High Court as part of our petition.
We petitioned: 2020 is ending – where is the budget?
For political reasons, the national budget has turned into a joke in the midst of an unprecedented economical crisis, just when we need the money more than we ever needed and when we need serious and orderly work more than ever. Hard to believe that precisely in the time of such a massive crisis, the People’s representatives don’t even bother to pass a budget! It is out of the question to strangle the Public economically in the midst of such a crisis and do so just because of politics. Recently we petitioned for ending this absurd show and submitting a budget at long last. Meanwhile we had a first and important achievement regarding this petition: the judges ordered the State to explain its actions. In addition, the judges set time for an extended panel discussion of the petition.
Achievement in our petition: A High Court File to Netanyahu – what about the conflict of interests arrangement?
We petitioned to the High Court of Justice when Netanyahu wished to continue functioning as prime minister in spite of the severe indictment against him. Indeed the judges enabled him his wish but on condition of his signing an arrangement of conflict of interests in order to clarify precisely what he is allowed – or not – to do. For instance, it is unreasonable that he appoints the very persons who in the future might judge him. Since several months have already passed and Netanyahu still refuses to sign this arrangement, we petitioned regarding this issue. Now, to our delight, also the High Court judges demand answers from Netanyahu. Simultaneously, in our petition we demanded that the draft concerning the arrangement will be published for the Public’s awareness.
Where are the 11 billion shekels? Our petition had been discussed
Our significant petition had been discussed this month: the petition relates to the bizarre trick by which, due to the mess resulted from the lack of a National Budget, the Minister of Finance transferred NIS 11 billion for unclear purposes, without the Knesset ‘s and the Government’s consent, without anyone’s ability to ensure that this money arrives at the right places and not where it is the Minister’s convenience.
An important achievement: The High Court demands from the State to explain the need of a rotation government
The State’s democratic regime foundations should not be altered just for a brief political need. Such a change can be applied only after a substantial and profound discussion. It is impossible to have the People vote according to a certain system only to find after the elections that it was changed to a different system. It can’t be that the capacity of the Knesset‘s majority to overthrow the government will be reduced – as expressed in a certain section of the law that established the rotation government. This very Knesset had been chosen by the People! We had petitioned the High Court already by establishing this government; now the High Court demands some answers from it and also determined to discuss the issue in an extended panel.
Important achievement for our public struggle: The bill of stopping the increase in the Knesset Members’ wages passed in first reading and unanimously!
While the citizens of Israel collapse financially due to the corona crisis – hundreds of thousands lost their jobs: fired, went on unpaid leaves or were forced to close their businesses – the KMs continue fixing their own wages and receiving a near-automatic increment each year anew. They intended to act similarly also in January 2021 by adding more than NIS 6500 to each of the KM’s salaries. However, after a vast public struggle and pressures we applied, we had an important achievement: passing of a bill to cancel the increment and freeze the KMs’s wages for the coming year. As pleasant and meaningful as this advance is, the struggle is not over yet: we demand from the KMs to change the method because it is unreasonable that they will decide how high their own wages will be and because it is outrageous that their wages will be updated each year automatically. Thousands citizens have already signed our struggle petition and we are maintaining our pressures.
Demonstrations across the country: The protest continues in full force
The protest can’t be stopped. This month we demonstrated in several locations: Balfur in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square each Saturday night, crossroads and bridges country wide and a supportive event by the home of the Farkash family – the bereaved family that had been victim of harassment and bullying practiced by Netanyahu’s fans who demonstrated there. In the numerous demonstrations we have been protesting against Government corruption and the continuation of tenure of an indicted Prime Minister; we are calling to initiate a full investigation of the Submarines Affair and to establish a State Committee of Inquiry for this case. We also demand the Government’s serious treatment of the health and economic crisis, treatment that is entirely free of political considerations. And last, but not least, we demand that the Government ceases dealing with only itself and politics, starts working for the Public’s wellbeing, and stops inciting and dividing the People.
More from the Movement’s desk for this month
While participating in a meeting of the Finance Committee, we demanded to understand the reason for the parties’ repeating postponing of submitting the financial reports for the last three election campaigns * The Movement’s activists demonstrated in front of Haifa Municipality: equipped with sea wheels and floats they protested against the municipal lack of readiness for the winter and the flooding. Relating to winter flooding across the country and not just in Haifa, we addressed the State Comptroller and demanded to establish an Inquiry Committee. Last year several people lost their lives in the flooding – we must not allow this to happen again! * Enough of tenders with corrupt companies! We demanded from the Attorney General to set rules for this issue at last. In no way can the State continue contacting with companies that were criminally convicted – such contacts might risk the Public’s money. * We clarified to the PM, the Minister of Defense and the Attorney General that funding Government Ministries’ deals by loans without informing the Knesset might create a budget-bypass route of monies * We submitted a petition demanding to expose all of the information concerning medical equipment that was meant for the PM Office’s staff but arrived, due to unclear reasons, at the PM Residence where Netanyahu lives * Due to Netanyahu’s conduct concerning his conflict of interests arrangement, we demanded from the Attorney General to declare the PM’s incapacity. Netanyahu keeps at ignoring the conflict of interests arrangement being a condition for continuing his tenure under an indictment * We sent the PM’s office a Freedom of Information request in order to examine the planned upgrading of the cars of the PM’s sons * Intended to discuss the Police conduct during the demonstrations, the meeting of the Knesset‘s Committee of Internal Affairs had been cancelled in the last moment due to the absence of relevant police personae. We responded as follows: “Why are they afraid to cope? This conduct is a blatant contempt of the Knesset and the Public” * Following KM Miki Zohar’s expressions in live against AG Mandelblit we filed a grievance that led to investigating him on suspicion of extortion.