September 2020

September 2020 Activity Summary Report

Significant achievement for our Demonstrations Petition submitted to the High Court of Justice

Comprising an extended composition of judges, the Court issued a decree nisi obliging the State to reply to our petition that related to the restriction of demonstrations in time of closure. It is about an amendment to the law, confirmed by the Knesset in the dead of night and designated to limit the right to protest and thus harmed the basic rights to demonstration and to freedom of expression. Promptly following this confirmation we petitioned the High Court of Justice in demand to cancel those sections of the law that, in the event of complete closure, limit demonstrations to distances based on places of living and to a format of groups of 20 people each. In this petition we also asked for an order relating to publishing the updated data that were the basis for enacting the amendment. We also asked to issue an interim order for delaying the amendment’s validation. The law of restricting the demonstrations states that in time of full closure the government may, for 7 days (with an option of extending the time once more by 21 days), limit demonstrations to distances based on places of living. As this law will obviously stop the demonstrations against the Prime Minister in Keysaria and in Balfur, it is hard to ignore the conflict of interests here due to the PM’s central role in making this amendment decision.

We were pleased to realize that the restrictions had been lifted even before the closure ended. Later on the Court ordered the State to reply to our petition in front of an extended composition of judges.

An important achievement: The Court froze the questionable tender in the Ministry of Transportation

A tender for directorship of the National Public Transport Authority has recently been published. In the most bizarre way the tender terms were changed so that they are now different from the legal terms for this office, enabling this way to appoint a person without any experience in operating of public transportation system whatsoever! Needless to say that beyond the necessity of relevant experience in order to manage the National Public Transport Authority, there is genuine suspicion that the tender is tailor made for some specific person. We demanded urgently from Minister of Transportation Regev and from the Civil Service Commissioner to cancel this absurd tender promptly. Since this demand has not been fulfilled, we were forced to apply to the Court that granted our request and froze the tender.

An achievement to the Movement and to the public interest: We prevented interference of foreign factors in the outline of financial assistance to El Al

During the recent months the State, with support of professional factors, has formulated financial assistance outline for El Al Company. First and foremost, we wished to make it clear that pouring money without intensive and thorough treatment will not solve the problem. In addition, according to the media Tami Moses-Borowitz – one of El Al’s controlling shareholders – acted allegedly with the aim to thwart the outline by applying pressure on the professional rank in order to retain her control of the company contrary to the outline’s terms that had been set. In other words, there was suspicion that Moses-Borowitz will apply forbidden political pressure that will cause spending public money for retaining her control of El Al instead of the professional plan that is essential for saving the company. Following this publication we alerted the PM, the Attorney General, the Minister of Finance and his CEO to the severe suspicion that changing the professional outline will result in using public money for retaining Moses-Borowitz’s ownership of the company. We also warned them of the possibility that unrelated and wrong considerations might be reason for changing the outline. Eventually we were informed that we had succeeded in keeping El Al’s professional outline and in maintaining the Public Interest: Moses-Borowitz’s holdings in the company were reduced and a new investor had been found who will become a controlling shareholder of the company – instead of having the financial support at the expense of the Public.

The protest continues in full force!

The protest will not stop: a flexible protest that knows how to adapt to any situation is invincible. Therefore we continued to protest under every condition; each time we found the way to do so legally and, obviously, in the best health-safe conduct according to the regulations of the Ministry of health. Prior to the closure we held (while following the guidelines) demonstrations in Keysariya. Later on we switched to the format of a vehicle caravan and with the closure’s onset we joined country-wide demonstrations, each location at a distance of one kilometer from home. In addition we distributed a lot of equipment to demonstrators all over the country in order to allow the protest to continue. So what the protest is all about? The current crisis proved clearly that the fact of an indicted prime minister can’t be put up with: Corruption is the Public Trust’s ultimate enemy, and Public Trust is the most important factor in a time of crisis. Therefore when now, more than ever, the fight against corruption is categorical, the elected officials should take time-out from dealing with themselves and with politics and pay attention to the Public: What are the plans for exiting from the closure? Does anybody listen to the professional level or once again decisions will be made only according to political interests? An organized professional plan for reducing the morbidity after exiting from the closure – only this will ensure the prevention of a third closure. And what about livelihood? The Israeli citizens are law-abiding and take care of their own health and that of their surroundings, but what about the government’s side? What about compensations to the ones whose livelihood was harmed? What about the national budget deficit that in the meantime swelled to the extent of being the highest ever in the State’s history? The government must ensure support and financial horizon to the People; it also must conduct economically with utmost responsibility. Now relating to the health system – do people of the government perceive its grave condition? Time has come to execute plans for reinforcing the health system and its medical staff that are indeed on the verge of collapse. Above all stands the necessity of having the elected officials do their maximum in order to regain the Public’s trust, which is always significant but more so in time of crisis. Serious and appropriate explanation should be applied, together with strict observance of the rules by elected officials in order to set personal example to the Public.

The safeguard malfunction in the South: Why has the government failed, for years now, to provide protection for the citizens of the country’s southern region?

Once again residents of Sderot and Gaza Envelope had sleepless nights this month. We discovered that instead of shielding these southern settlements after 2014 Tsuk Eytan Operation, as was the commitment, the government has done nothing at all. How come that after more than 6 years the government hasn’t even started executing its promise of formulating a safeguard plan for this area? Can it be logical that in 2020 the lives of citizens in the South are still endangered on a daily basis? In 2014 the government decided to have “a multi-year plan for development of the South”, aiming at strengthening the southern settlements due to the destruction and damage they had experienced. Inter alia, this decision stated that it was obligatory to formulate a plan that will facilitate the construction of protected spaces and other sheltering solutions for the southern residents. It is for several years now that we have been following meticulously the plan for shielding the south, whose implementation should have been carried out until January 2015! Over the recent years we have addressed government ministers in attempt to understand the reasons for the stagnation of the plan’s implementation. To our regret, these ministers simply avoided liability and blamed others instead of taking responsibility and be active about improving the protection for the South. In urgent letters to PM Binyamin Netanyahu (who is also Acting Minister of Construction and Housing) and to Yair Pinnes (CEO of this ministry) we demanded from them to take responsibility for this neglect and act promptly to apply the plan for shielding the South. This procrastination must be stopped; its only result is more and more casualties physically and mentally.

More from the Movement’s desk for this month

We demanded from the State Comptroller to initiate an investigation in the issue of whitewashing the killing of Ya’akoub Abu Al-Qian in Umm al-Hiran. A critical procedure must be implemented in order to clear this event * We petitioned against transferring NIS 11 billion behind the Knesset’s back. It’s unacceptable to have the government trying to transfer such huge amounts of money without the Knesset’s monitoring. There is fear that this money will not reach those who really need it and instead will go to factors who are closest to the government * Following an affair of smuggling hazardous materials, we required from the Attorney General and the Police Acting Inspector General to initiate a criminal investigation for checking conflicts of interests and extraneous considerations in the Ministry of Environmental Protection * The false campaign phenomenon: we lodged an appeal against closing the investigation of a false and impersonating message distributed in the name of the Movement for Quality Government. On the occasion of the municipal elections, the message called to refrain from voting for one of the candidates for Rishon Le-Zion Mayoralty * We demanded from Attorney General Mandelblitt to declare PM Netanyahu’s incapacity. Netanyahu will not only be preoccupied with his trial’s evidentiary stage while trying to run the State from the defendants’ bench, he is also in a state of conflict of interests. In no way can this situation continue * We called the Attorney General to act and decide as soon as possible in the case of prosecuting former minister Ya’akov Litzman and current minister Aryeh Deri * Avigdor Lieberman’s call not to obey the corona instructions was irresponsible: Elected officials must show responsibility and mind their words. In no way can members of the Knesset persuade citizens to ignore instructions of the Ministry of Health. Calls that hint to civil disobedience are not only irresponsible but also endanger the Public health and might cause worsening of the morbidity * We called the Minister of Finance and the rest of the ministers to respect and take seriously the professional ranks of the ministries. The voices of the professional ranks have always been highly important; in such a time of unprecedented pandemic and economic crisis they are all the more important * We demanded from Karmiel’s and Kiryat Yam’s municipalities to appoint internal auditors as soon as possible, as is the legal demand.