October 2021

October 2021 Activity Summary Report

Huge triumph: A State Commission of Inquiry for the Submarines Affair is setting off. Defense Minister Gantz and Minister of Justice Saar submitted a decision-makers’ proposal to the Knesset

Nearly 4 years ago we had started leading this struggle. Beginning with collecting information, performing inspections, cross-referencing data and talking with tens of people involved in the affair, we continued by collecting detailed affidavits from more than 50 seniors of the security establishment over the years – Chiefs of the General Staff, Major Generals, Directors of the Mossad and Shabak. These affidavits were attached to our petition, submitted to the Supreme Court, in which we demanded to establish a State Commission of Inquiry for the Submarines and Watercraft Affair. Our Struggle was not just legal – we were leading a public protest that grew and gained momentum by the week: we marched with submarine models in Balfour, Keisariya, Tel Aviv and all over the country. Tens of thousands of citizens together, we demonstrated in front of the Knesset, the Government’s meetings and the Supreme Court. Over 77,000 people signed our petition demanding the establishing of a state commission of inquiry for the affair. This was our mission: providing information of this affair to each and every citizen. Our huge media campaign exposed to the public the true story behind this affair and a profound 10-parts series we produced gained millions of views. We have done everything we could to bring about the establishing of a State Commission of Inquiry that will investigate the most serious affair ever in the history of Israel. Since the outset of the 36th government we have accelerated the struggle: representatives of the Security Forum – former seniors of the security establishment led by The Movement’s chairman Dr. Adv. Eliad Shraga – met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benni Gantz, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of Justice Gideon Saar, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and with other government persons. Though we have now reached the first step in the final stretch, there is still a long way ahead in order to remove the dark cloud off the Affair. PM Naftali Bennett is currently the person according to whom things will take shape. We expect of him to act for the sake of the national interest by promptly advance the Commission’s establishment.

We demanded from the Attorney General: After all these years, it’s time to  decide about filing indictments against Litzman and Deri

Nearly 3 years and more than 2 years respectively after receiving from the police the information concerning Deri and Litzman – when does the Attorney General intends to decide whether indictments will be filed against the two? According to the AG’s instructions concerning the duration of the prosecution’s work until filing an indictment, “concerning offenses of iniquity and crime that are punishable by up to ten years in prison, treating the case must end within 18 months”. Regretfully, these instructions had been violated already many months ago. The Attorney General himself turns the instructions that he published into a dead letter. No matter if the decision is to prosecute them or not, the AG must immediately publish any decision for the Public to know.

No to appointing Lapid’s sister-in-law to KKL (Jewish National Fund) Board of Directors!

Following the report of the intention to appoint Lapid’s sister-in-law to the Board of Directors of KKL, we published our fierce objection: “Lapid, you got mixed up: KKL is not a family business. We attacked Deri when he appointed his brother; appointing your sister-in-law is no less stinking. Appointing cronies to public positions is an inappropriate conduct, regardless of the political context. This is not how a government of change should look like”. To our satisfaction, the appointment did not materialize.

An important achievement: The Supreme Court is backing us – we have stopped the disbanding of the Team of Directors!

Regarding our petition against former Minister of National Digital Dudi Amsalem’s decision to cancel the Team of Directors, it turned out we won the battle. Following the former minister’s intention to disband the Team – that pool of professional candidates for directorships in Government Companies – we petitioned to the Supreme Court against this decision. Now the Court determined that the petition is unnecessary due to the fact that the present government canceled the National Digital Ministry and announced its intention of re-establishing the Team of Directors.

Our bill against defendants’ tenure as prime ministers was published as a basic law memorandum on behalf of the Government

A significant stage in the struggle against corruption: thanks to the public struggle we were leading and the pressure we exerted on elected officials, the law’s memorandum was published. Very much like our proposal that had been submitted to the Knesset, this law distances defendants accused of criminal offenses that involve disgrace from the possibility of serving as prime ministers.

We demanded from the Attorney General to receive the report: Had an enormous debt of Dead Sea Works Company been erased?

Following a significant petition of Adam Teva V’Din (People, Nature & Law – Israel Union for Environmental Defense), in 2019 the Court ruled that the Water Law applies to the Dead Sea Works so that the company must pay for the water it produced. In spite of this rule and in spite of Mekorot (Israel National Water Company)’s consequent demand to collect the unpaid NIS 83,000,000 debts, the Ministry of Justice decided to exempt the Dead Sea Company from payment. We demanded from the Attorney General to expose to the public eye the opinion that enabled this decision so that we can examine it and consider our future acts.

The State Comptroller Report reveals: Israel is not ready for coping with the climate crisis and its entailed damages

State Comptroller Matanyahu Engelman’s severe report leads to an unequivocal conclusion: The State of Israel has failed. In spite of the vast acknowledgement of anticipated dangers to humanity due to the extreme climate changes, Israel is one of a few countries that still do not act according to confirmed and budgeted national preparation programs. The Comptroller’s 665 pages impressive document blames the Government and decision makers for improper handling of the climate crisis. According to the report, the government failed to meet almost any of the goals it set for itself considering the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Comptroller warns of the future: “Increase and exacerbation of climatic events alongside continued changes in climate patterns might cause considerable damage to Israel’s economy and might risk the country’s national security”. The comprehensive report reveals severe data that present a situation of climatic crisis in need of immediate actions. It is time for the government to set an example for environmental and climatic protection. It is time for elected officials to apply real actions for the sake of our environment, community, economy and future.

We required from President Herzog to apply the law for granting certificates of appreciation to whistleblowers

The Law for the Encouraging of Morality in the Public Service had been enacted about 30 years ago. This law gave the President of Israel the authority to grant certificates of appreciation to public employees for their contribution to secure morality in public institutions. In many cases these people were genuine whistleblowers who sacrificed of themselves and paid heavy personal prices when exposing corruption such as improper appointments, bribery and other wrongdoings in government authorities. Unfortunately, this law has been a dead letter for years now. Actually, over the last 30 years since the law’s enactment, only two events of granting certificates of appreciation had been carried out – in 2015 and in 2017. Both events were led by then President of Israel Mr. Rivlin. Due to this reality we explained to President Herzog the situation and asked him to act for applying the law’s instructions and for establishing the event of granting certificates of appreciation.

We petitioned the Supreme Court in demand to investigate the April 2021 Security Leaks Affair. The leaks’ perpetrators must be found!

We petitioned to the Supreme Court against the Attorney General, the State Attorney and the Police, asking the Court to issue conditional orders and have an urgent discussion in the issue of refraining from opening a comprehensive criminal investigation concerning the severe security leaks in April 2021 (during Netanyahu’s government) that allegedly risked the lives of fighters in the battle against Iran. This affair is about leaks of sensitive security information concerning covert activities of Israeli security forces within enemy territory, including attacking Iranian ships on their way to Syria (according to reports). The leaks had taken place in the midst of this sensitive operation and so had the potential of endangering the fighters’ lives. Was all of this done for the sake of political gains? Following the reports we called the Shabak (Israeli Security Agency) Director, the Attorney General and the Police Inspector General to open a criminal investigation of the security leaks. We explained the significance of finding out whether any person within the security establishment leaked sensitive confidential security information and by this endangered fighters’ lives. Such a person, if found, must be prosecuted. At the time Minister of Defense Gantz committed himself to see to it that the leaks will be investigated, however as far as we know the investigation never advanced. We petitioned the Supreme Court due to receiving no response to our calls.

Following our involvement: The Attorney General intends to suspend from office the Mayor of Hadera, who was charged with criminal offenses  

Some weeks ago we requested the Attorney General and the State Attorney Office to submit to the Committee for the Suspension of Mayors a request concerning the suspension of Tzvika Gendelman, Mayor of Hadera. Our act follows media reports about the State Prosecution’s decision to file an indictment against Gendelman for fraud, breach of trust, receiving anything fraudulently, disruption of legal proceedings and an offense under the Computer Law. We were satisfied to reveal that our request was confirmed by the Prosecution: alongside filing an indictment against Gendelman to Haifa Magistrates’ Court, the Attorney General submitted to the Committee for the Suspension of Mayors a request for Gendelman’s suspension. The affair is about contacts between Gendelman and a real estate entrepreneur who has obvious financial interests in the city.

More from the Movement’s desk for this month

Following the violent brawl between Knesset Members Ben Gvir and Odeh in the Knesset, we published our stance by which this shameful incident stresses again and more strongly how important it is to establish the Ethics Committee in order to finally enable to enforce rules of proper behavior on the Knesset Members. * The Supreme Court discussed our petition demanding to determine a rigid tenure for the Police Inspector General. As long as such a rule is not applied and the Inspector General’s destiny depends on the whims of politicians, there is concern that he will act as a politicians’ marionette. The more serious concern is the possibility that he might refrain from investigations that relate to these politicians. * The Court will discuss our petition against the law that allows the splitting of parties. This law was initiated by the present government and probably had been especially designated to serve the Coalition’s political needs. * Throughout the month we have been following the submitting of Government Members’ financial statements in order to ensure that all of the GM’s do so according to the law. * We asked the Attorney General and the Police Inspector General to start checking Knesset Member Nir Barkat’s involvement in the events exposed in the Pandora Documents Affair. * Following our petition to the Supreme Court in demand to publish the reasons for closing cases against people involved in the Submarines Affair, the State announced that the reasons will be published. * We required from the Government Companies Authority to receive the report of repairing faults regarding accountants in the companies.* We demanded from the State Comptroller to receive the opinions for confirming the employment of the PM Office’s Deputy Director General before the end of his cooling-off period from the Comptroller’s Office.