May 2015

May 2015 | Quality Report Headlines

MQG Petitions the High Court: Aryeh Deri is a convicted felon and should not be appointed as a government minister: Deri’s last stint as a government minister ended with his conviction for accepting a bribe, imposition of moral turpitude and imprisonment in Ma’asiyahu Prison. MQG petitioned the High Court, demanding that his re-appointment be prevented after he exploited his previous position for the embezzlement of huge sums of public money. MQG attached the broad, public petition it conducted in the past few months against Deri’s appointment, which was signed by over 56,000 Israelis, to the court petition. In the wake of public pressure, Deri gave up the Interior Ministry portfolio, which he abused in the past, though the movement is fighting for him not to be appointed minister at all in view of the offences he has committed. Following the petition and the attorney general’s response, Deri’s right to appoint judges in the Transport Ministry will be revoked. A hearing at the high court will be held on the 23/06/2015.

No to the underhanded fixing of the gas monopoly: Despite business antitrust executive David Giloh’s decision to break up the horrific gas monopoly headed by Itzhak Teshuva, the Israeli government is withdrawing from this decision in favour of preserving the gas monopoly instead, which has led to the bypassing of the antitrust executive’s authority and to his resignation. We appealed to the government with a final request, in the hope of avoiding the need for legal proceedings, to halt governmental negotiations with the gas companies, which is in unlawful disregard of the antitrust executive’s authority and continues to take place with an improper lack of transparency and public participation. Additionally, MQG demands to meet with Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz and his gas advisor Eitan Shishinsky, in order to present to them the MQG’s position on the correct policy for shaping the natural gas market.

Minister Kahlon’s conflict of interest: Our message to Minister Kahlon: it is necessary to consult with the attorney general and hear his opinion on everything related to the Minister of Finance’s conflict of interest in dealing with the gas monopoly. This comes in the wake of the Minister’s sudden change of opinion and the announcement that he intends to exclude himself from the subject of the gas market in its entirety on account of his personal relations with businessman Kobi Maimon, one of the owners of Isramco, a company with holdings in the Tamar reserve. Minister Kahlon has added that his authority in the matter as Minister of Finance will be transferred to the Prime Minister.

A call upon MKs to abstain from voting for the law to increase the number of ministers in government: We called upon MKs to avoid allowing narrow political interests, which do little to promote those of the public, to dictate their actions as lawmakers. This amendment leads to serious damage to the public’s trust in government’s legal and executive authorities.

The Ronel Fisher / Ruth David Case: MQG contacted Hila Gerstl, State Prosecutions and Proceedings Auditor, to congratulate her on her examination of Adv. Ruth David’s handling of the Ronel Fisher case during David’s term as Tel-Aviv District Attorney. The events in this case demonstrate clearly that no governing body should be free of systemic supervision, and heighten the need and importance of the state auditor in matters of state prosecutions and proceedings.

Following the “Land Affair”, MQG Petitioned the High Court – Galant Must not be appointed Minister of Construction: MQG petitioned the High Court, demanding that Galant not be appointed Minister of Construction. The petition stated that a man who trespassed onto tens of dunams of public land and refused to withdraw from them for many years; presented false or partial testimony to the authorities; who did not hesitate to use his influence and connections; who continues to hold 35 dunams of public lands that were illegally given to him; whose appointment as Chief of Staff was withdrawn after the attorney general examined this affair, should under no circumstances be appointed Minister of Construction. Indictments for planning and construction infringements are usually issued for such actions, though the authorities’ negligence has prevented this from taking place. It is inconceivable that Galant should be appointed as minister in charge of this particular field in light of such an affair. In addition to the prevention of his appointment, MQG demands that the findings of the attorney general’s examination of the affair be revealed in full. It is the public’s right to know what happened in an affair concerning a man soon to be appointed as a government minister. Following MQG’s battle, control of the Israel Land Authority has been transferred to the Ministry of Finance. A hearing at the High Court has be scheduled for 07.07.2015.

Nochi Dankner and the IDB Group: A freedom of information request was submitted to Jerusalem District Court against the Bank of Israel, demanding the Banking Supervisor’s final audit reports on the credit procedure for Dankner’s group as well as additional documents regarding the audit the supervisor conducted on the matter.

Gaining Distance from the Corrupt – Battling Shimon Gapso’s return to the position of Upper Nazareth Mayor: This month, MQG’s appeal against the reduced sentence given to Shimon Gapso was received. Despite being found guilty of bribery, he faces few consequences. Following his return as Mayor, he found time to dismiss Adv. Eran Bar-Rabbi, chairman of the local council and one of the brave few that exposed the corruption. The MQG subsequently appealed to the courts and was able to reverse the dismissals.

Iris Naftali, Chairman of Ashdod Worker’s Council, must be suspended: MQG called upon Ashdod Municipality to suspend Iris Naftali, Chairman of Ashdod Worker’s Council, with immediate effect in consequence of her four counts of breach of trust, through her exploitation of her own position as a civil servant at the municipality. This comes in the wake of her admitting to the actions of which she is accused as part of a plea bargain. Ms. Naftali’s guilty verdict, the severity of her actions and her senior position as an elected official lead us to conclude that there is no doubt that she is not suited for service as a municipal official, if only until a final judgment is reached with regard to her legal proceedings.

The Electric Company’s Advertising Expenditure: Following MQG’s appeal, the Electric Company’s advertising expenditure was revealed. According to the data discovered, the Electric Company’s spent NIS26 million on advertising in 2014, whilst the advertising budget for child safety was cut by 90% and that of image improvement by 40 times. In the meantime, the Electrical Company itself is in a deficit of tens of billions of shekels. We appealed to the chairman of the Government Companies Agency and the General Comptroller, demanding the limiting of government company expenditure on advertising and the examination of the Electric Company’s management of advertising.

Government Preparation towards the End of the Dead Sea Permit: MQG appealed to the Ministry of Finance with a request for information on the government’s preparation for the end of the ICL Israeli Chemicals Company’s permit. This is due to a concern for the government’s permanent share in ICL as well as other Dead Sea manufacturing companies.

For full report (in Hebrew) visit our Hebrew website: http://www.mqg.org.il

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