January 2018

January 2018 Activity Report

For additional information: www.mqg.org.il

No to depleting the Anti-Concentration Law of its contents!

The Movement addressed Minister of Justice Ms. Shaked, demanding to secure the many loopholes in the Concentration Law. This demand follows publications of the intention to purchase Bezeq by I.D.B.’s controlling shareholder Eduardo Elsztain, an issue that indicates Elsztain’s systematic and repeating use of the law’s loopholes in a way that ridicules the law’s basic rationale and harms its purpose severely.

Why the Ministry of Finance does not carry out discussions regarding the allegedly breach by Israel Chemicals Ltd. in the Dead Sea issue?

After its initial request had been totally disregarded by the Ministry of Finance, the Movement submitted a Freedom of Information petition, asking for all of the Ministry of Finance’s discussions protocols regarding ICL’s allegedly breach of the golden share’s conditions. Due to this petition it was revealed, that no such discussions had been carried out over a significantly long time – a fact that reflects contempt for a subject critical to the public interest and to the State’s attitude consolidation concerning the renewal of the Dead Sea concession. This situation might have continued uninterrupted if not for the Movement’s petition. The ongoing drag brings up heavy fears of efforts invested in trying to dissolve both discussion and decision concerning the Dead Sea concession’s future.

The municipal elections: establishing rules for radio broadcasted candidates’ campaigns

In many local councils functioning members, who are also candidates for head of council positions, habitually broadcast on local radio stations. According to the law, the Second Authority for Television and Radio is able to initiate rules concerning this issue. The Movement demanded from the 2nd Authority’s council to do just so.

What about the Israeli Medical Association’s financial reports?

Contacting IMA the Movement claimed, that the association published under the definition “Financial Reports” documents that in fact do not fulfill even minimal demands of such reports and so can’t be regarded as financial reports. The Movement also asked IMA to publicize full financial reports. It is worth emphasizing that IMA is an Ottoman Society, a status that exempts it from being subject to the modern Israeli Associations Law.

The Movement to the Tax Authority: Do not prolong Ottoman Societies’ validation

Following the Movement’s long activity for applying supervision, transparency and proper administration modern rules to associations that are still acting according to the Ottoman law, the Movement demanded that the Tax Authority will not prolong validity for Ottoman Societies whose certificates are about to expire: there is no public interest in granting these associations special bonuses.

Have faults in the Standards Institution of Israel been amended according to the State Comptroller Report?

The State Comptroller Report presented some faults in the Standards Institution of Israel’s conduct, among which are irregularities in the executive committee’s activity, incomplete corporate governance,  and faults in the procedure of granting standard marks. The Comptroller added that the Standard Institution should act transparently by releasing full reports to the public and that its laboratories should be authorized by external and independent factors. According to the law, the head of a controlled organization should report to the Comptroller within 30 days any decisions taken in order to amend the faults. The Movement contacted the Standard Institution to find out whether this act had been accomplished and in order to receive all of the relevant information.

The Movement sides with PM Netanyahu regarding the Electricity Reform; the petition should not be withdrawn

An attempt of applying the Electricity Reform is being consolidated these very days in an agreement between the government’s representatives and the Electric Company’s Employees Committee together with the Histadrut. In addition to the various conditions they set in return for enabling the reform, the strong Committee members also demanded that the State withdraws the petition submitted to the High Court of Justice against a ruling that granted the Employees Committee enormous power. It is about a reform that aims to reduce the Electric Company’s monopoly and to open the electric market to at least partial competition. The Reform already confirmed in the Knesset in the 1990s, it has been for over 20 years now that the State fails from applying it because of massive pressures of the Employees Committee and the Histadrut, who threated not once to “turn off the switch”. The Movement stresses that the petition should not be withdrawn and requested to be granted a “Friend of the Court” status in order to join the petition. Obviously the Employees Committee is allowed to and also has to fight for the workers’ employment conditions, but it should not stop a reform – that was confirmed by the legislative authority – in order to sustain its monopoly at the expense of the public interest.

More Movement’s recent activities and publications

Balad (National Democratic Assembly) party’s serious “financial celebration” affair. According to a severe report of the State Comptroller, Knesset Members of the Joint List – among them Haneen Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Jumah Azbarga, all of them belong to Balad – abused public money that was originally designated for administering the elections. The Movement’s publication of this affair clarifies its severity; the issue is also being investigated by the police. * The Movement: An upkeep of Yesh Atid is necessary. The Movement related to Yesh Atid’s evasive response to the debriefing about Ya’akov Peri. As a party committed to fight corruption, Yesh Atid should have been the first to thoroughly examine the exact events and to consider the debriefing seriously instead of responding evasively and weakly. * The Movement condemns the attack on the Attorney General of Israel. An announcement of the Movement completely condemns the harsh attack on the Attorney General, claiming that freedom of expression is not the freedom to scorn, nor can the freedom of protest exist at the expense of the freedom of religious worship. The Movement expects of the police to deal with whoever violates the law. * What private factors gain the right to administer offices in the Knesset building? Certain private factors have been administering offices (for “government contacts”) within the Knesset building. It is unavoidable wondering why precisely these factors and not others gain this advantage and whether there is no danger that interest groups might enhance their issues at the expense of the public interest. The Movement demanded that the Knesset exposes the full list of factors that were granted offices in the Knesset. * Have the Comptroller Report’s conclusions been applied to Petah Tikva municipality?  The Movement addressed State Comptroller (retired judge) Yoseph Shapira in order to find out whether his report’s conclusions of Petah Tikva municipality’s conduct concerning tenders have been applied. In addition, the Movement contacted Petah Tikva municipality and the Ministry of Interior and publicized the existence of a tender the prerequisites of which seemed irregular to the extent of suspecting it had been especially “sewed” to fit a certain factor’s own measures.

The Movement’s Rabin Square anti-corruption demonstrations

Recently, each Saturday evening (Motzash) the Movement has been initiating anti-corruption demonstrations, this way letting the significant voice of the public – and that of the Movement – to be heard in this issue. Presently it is the midst of a filthy wave of corruption: police investigations open, corruption affairs blow up in various government authorities – local as well as national – involving persons of senior positions as well as of minor ones. The affairs range from the ones that do not gain even a headline on the news to those concerning Government high-ranking figures. Among the demonstrations’ participants and speakers are prominent figures in the Israeli public, like former Head of Mossad Major General (res.) Dani Yatom, Knight of Quality Government Major General (res.) Ya’akov (Mandi) Orr, the Institute for Zionist Strategies’ Miri Shalem, singer Alma Zohar, and the Movement’s chairman Adv. Dr. Eliad Shraga.

The Movement is calling all to go out and demonstrate wherever it is needed and to vocalize the anti-corruption crucial message.