Monday, October 13, 2014

What does Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein have to Hide?

ה׳ חוהמ״ס תשע״ה Edelstein: Journalist hiring private eyes to tail MKs belongs in jail
Journalist's "100 Days of Transparency" project raised almost NIS 160,000 to follow lawmakers who "love darkness" and "resist transparency."

MK Yo'el "Yuli" Edelstein
Speaker of the K'nesseth
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein plans to ban from the Knesset all those involved in a plan to hire private investigators to follow MKs in the name of transparency, and called for them to be put in prison.

Former Calcalist (Israeli financial paper) Knesset reporter Tomer Avital started raising money for his "100 Days of Transparency" project in July via the Israeli crowdfunding site Headstart, and as of Monday, has close to NIS 160,000 to hire private investigators to "make transparency-resisters [in the Knesset] sweat," as the project's page reads.

A video on the project's site (see below) shows MKs hugging lobbyists and attending parties with some of the wealthiest Israelis and points out that many MKs only attend a handful of plenum meetings. Avital, who also wrote a murder mystery describing an extreme case of what can happen when there is a lack of transparency in the Knesset, particularly in regards to lobbyists, plans to have investigators track the activities of lawmakers who "love darkness," meaning those whose schedules and activities are least transparent. (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Prison? Sounds a little extreme, doesn't it? If private investigators are operating according to Israeli law, then why should Israeli law makers be exempt? Does Speaker Edelstein believe himself and his colleagues to be above the law?

Granted, democracy has absolutely nothing to do with a truly, Jewish (ie. Torah) government. But, the statements above from the Speaker only add further support to the notion that the State of Israel is not even the democracy it claims to be. Rather, it is a deMOCKracy.

Tomer Avital
From the video alone, it appears that Tomer Avital is going after all Members of K'nesseth [MK] equally, those who are not transparent, that it. The 1:13 minute video carries criticism of Haredi MK's Litzman, Yishai, and Deri, but of secular, and even Arab MK's, as well.

As stated above, the video includes photos and clips of MK's with lobbyists, but also includes charts listing MK's and ministers with poor attendance, information which is commonly brought up and discussed the U. S. in regards to its members of Congress.

I know relatively little about Tomer Avital. He has had some involvement with One Voice, an "NGO dedicated to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," and is the creator of the "Networking The Gap" initiative, designed "to reshape the perception of those who still flatten their neighbors as enemies." So, I will hazard to guess that he and I are not on the same page politically. However, on the surface, his "100 Days of Transparency" project seems not only to be a good idea, but a good suggestion of a requirement for anyone serving in any government, claiming to be a democracy.

Ironically, the photo which now appears as Avital's Facebook profile picture is one of himself posing with none other than,...Speaker Yuli Edelstein. Together, they are holding up a copy of Avital's book HaMishkan, the novel about murder and the lack of transparency, mentioned in the above report.

If nothing else, Tomer Avital deserves points for cleverness.

On the other hand, Speaker Edelstein should know better, that anyone attacking the expectations of transparency for government officials, and threatening those individuals involved in pushing for it, would automatically be the target of suspicion himself.

And so, I ask, what exactly does K'nesseth Speaker Yuli Edelstein have to hide?

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