October 2018

October 2018 Activity Report

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Demanding criminal investigation against Liberman and Mosheh Leon

Yediot Aharonot published the news of having recordings that witness a deal between Defense Minister Lieberman and Mosheh Leon, candidate for Jerusalem Mayoralty. According to these publications, Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox Rabbis will support Leon’s candidacy in return for Lieberman’s commitment to soften the Recruitment Law. If true, it is about far more than just a dirty political deal: there is suspicion of a criminal offense that includes breach of trust on Lieberman’s side and offenses concerning purity of elections on Leon’s. It is out of the question that a political deal for the sake of a candidate would be performed at the expense of the public – namely all of us – during the discussions about the Recruitment Law. This law already has been generating fierce controversies in the Public, the Government and the Court. We addressed with urgency the Attorney General of Israel, The State Prosecutor, and the Police Inspector General, in demand to initiate a criminal investigation against Lieberman and Leon.

It is about time to put an end to deals planned at the expense of us all.

We have petitioned the Supreme Court: investigate the Ruth David Affair

Ruth David, former Tel Aviv District Attorney, was severely suspected of improperly intervening in criminal procedures due to the nature of her contacts with close associates like Ronel Fisher. Under her management, TA District Attorney’s office made several odd and mysterious decisions such as the 6 years that passed until submitting the indictment against Yitzhak Rochberger, former Ramat Hasharon Mayor, or closing a dreamy deal with the Dadosh brothers in one of Israel’s biggest drug transaction ever – and many more issues of the same type. In spite of these, it seems that the System handles David with kid gloves while the Attorney General oddly chose to shelve the main investigation file. Due to all of these facts we petitioned in demand to establish a Governmental examination committee in this case. Our petition is supported by a vast public struggle joined by thousands of citizens. We also expose, in the social networks, odd decisions accepted during Ruth David’s time as head of the District Attorney.

The public should be informed about such happenings and be aware of them; they should not be allowed to “go under the radar”.

We petitioned the High Court against Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan: Explain the prevention of extending Police Inspector General Alsheikh’s term of office

It is unavoidable to realize that Erdan’s decision was made in a rather problematic timing: well into the PM’s investigations and while ministers and the former coalition chairman keep entering and leaving police investigation rooms.

The fear for conflict of interests is real and heavy; it is not easy to forget the media’s publications concerning “Bitan’s recordings”; it’s also hard to ignore the fact that Erdan’s decision was made in spite of his expressions of appreciation toward Alsheikh during the latter’s service. In addition, for the last two decades Israel Government followed (except for rare cases) the practice of 4 years term of service for a Police Inspector General.

We petitioned the High Court in order to get Minister Erdan’s explanations for his decision and its problematic timing.

Suspending Effi Naveh from participating in the Judicial Nomination Committee

According to publications Effi Naveh, chairman of the Israel Bar Association, was interrogated under warning due to suspicion of offending the Israeli Law of Entrance and of committing a fraud crime. In spite of publications reporting his admitting the acts related to him, Naveh still holds his position in the Judicial Nomination Committee. Though the Minister of Justice did not demand him to quit this position, in our opinion the conflict of interests in this case is unequivocally obvious: it makes no sense to grant a suspect the ability of nominating the very judges who might judge him in the future. The questionable Minister’s choice generates doubts concerning the Law Enforcement system and harms, once again, the Public’s trust: as long as Naveh’s position in the Committee is valid and his investigation continues, the Committee’s decisions, cleanliness, professionalism and integrity will be constantly doubted.

We addressed the Minister of Justice regarding the issue and also called the President of the Supreme Court to suspend Naveh from the Committee. Regretfully, our relevant petition to the High Court of Justice had been rejected for now; our struggle, however, continues.

The Dolphinarium Deal: we keep following the deal after saving millions of Public money by our petition

Regarding the Dolphinarium Deal, The Court ruled what we have long argued – that there had been real failures in the process of consolidating the deal. To remind: within the deal a private entrepreneur received from the State public land for a price that incorporated huge reduction practically at the expense of the Public. In spite of the rejection of our petition to the Supreme Court, the judges criticized fiercely the conduct of Israel Land Authority in the deal, namely actual failures in the process of consolidating the deal – specifically in all that is related to benefits granted to the entrepreneur regarding the public land he received. The judges backed our long struggle; the confirmation process of this deal has not been completed yet. There is one more phase to discuss; when the exemption committee members gather, we will be present there to check them with utmost care until they make a decision that will put an end to the abuse of the public interest.

Any other decision will lead us to consider the next step of our struggle.

Following our interfering: Rochberger did not run for mayoralty in Ramat Hasharon

Yitzhak Rochberger, former Ramat Hasharon mayor who 4 years ago was convicted of committing grave integrity offenses, campaigned his running for the upcoming local authorities elections. In his campaign he boasted a ‘legal’ opinion that was insufficient, selective and unreliable, supposing he could this way mislead the residents of Ramat Hasharon.

The law, however, is absolutely clear as not to leave any doubt: whoever was convicted of corruption, sentenced to more than 3 months imprisonment (even if the penalty was accomplished by community service), and most important – was convicted of offenses involving moral turpitude and 7 years not yet passed from the time of fulfilling the imprisonment – such a person is forbidden from running in elections in any town, locality, council or list in 2018 Israel.

Regarding Rochberger’s campaign, we urgently submitted our own opinion to the elections supervisor and the director of elections in Ramat Hasharon who indeed ruled out his candidacy. Undeterred by this act, Rochberger went to Court. We reacted by demanding to take part in the legal procedure in order to defend the public interest of integrity.

The court did not allow Rochberger to present his candidacy so that the elections took place without his participation.

#notvotingcorruption: toward the elections for local authorities we travelled the country and demanded candidates to sign the Anti-Corruption Convention

With the upcoming elections for local authorities we have launched a vast campaign tagged #notvotingcorruption. We arrived at numerous locations over the country and performed events to which we invited the candidates to participate and to explain how they intended to act against corruption given they were elected. Simultaneously we asked them to sign an anti-corruption convention we had drafted. Hundreds of candidates agreed to sign, this way expressing meaningful commitment to the Public’s interests.

Events were held in Ramla, Yeruham, Hertzlia, Kfar Saba, Acco, Ramat Hasharon, Zichron Ya’akov, Hadera, Rishon Le’tziyon, Hod Hasharon, Haifa, Yehud, Lod, Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Bat Yam, Gush Etzyon, Tel aviv-Yaffo, Modi’in, Ashdod, Ramat Gan and many more.

We called all candidates to be committed to fighting against corruption, acting through sheer transparency, guarding integrity, avoiding conflict of interests and – most important – not breaching the trust granted to them by the Public.