Pensioners faction head: If Gaydamak can buy a Knesset party, so can Nasrallah
Galanti warns of 'political prostitution' after 3 MKs faction with tycoon; breakway MK: Galanti mulled merger too.
Pensioner's Party faction chairman Yitzhak Galanti warned Sunday that if the party established by three MKs who broke away from his party is approved by the Knesset, the move could result in Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad also "buying" a Knesset faction to represent their views.
Galanti was referring to the incident two weeks ago when Knesset members Elhanan Glazer and Sara Marom Shalev followed in MK Moshe Sharoni's footsteps to establish a faction to be known as Justice for Pensioners. The new faction will represent the political party of billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak, who is believed to have "bought" the party.
The leader of the breakaway MKs, Moshe Sharoni, denied the accusations and said that Galanti too had negotiated with Gaydamak over joining his party.
Nevertheless, it seems chances are low that the breakaway MKs will succeed in their bid to depart from the coalition.
MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima), who is serving as interim coalition head, announced Sunday that his faction opposed to the deal set forth by the breakways and said the sentiments were shared by most, if not all, the government parties.
In a letter addressed to the Knesset committee set to decide whether or not to approve the new faction, titled "the decline of the Israeli democracy into political prostitution," Galanti wrote that approval of the new party would pose a "danger to democracy, to society and to Israel's security."
Galanti mentioned in the letter that in the agreement between Sharoni and the Justice for Pensioners Party it was "stipulated explicitly that Gaydamak will fund the party's institutions in both the 17th and the 18th Knesset, in addition to funds supplied by the government by law. It is also stipulated that any ministerial position will be offered to MK Sharoni first."
"Gaydamak's Party 'Social Justice' promises to deposit into the parties' joint bank account a sum equal to the government party financing funds and to pay the salaries of the 22 Social Justice Party employees that will be selected by the Justice for Pensioners party members," the letter said.
Galanti asked in his letter "is this not a form of overt bribery in exchange for legal representation in the 17th Knesset and its committees? Isn't this a conflict of interest or immediate/future compensation for a bribe?"
The letter went on to say that "an MK that receives a pen or a box of chocolates as a gift asks the ethics committee to approve or reject it. Since there is gossip regarding a gift of an Audi A-8 vehicle, or any other vehicle, to be used by one of the MKs or one of his relatives - the question must be asked: Is this not a violation of the rules of ethics?"
Galanti also mentioned that "there is a more than likely possibility that Gaydamak will split additional Knesset factions (it is already common knowledge that intensive talks are underway between Gaydamak and central MKs who do not belong to the Pensioners Party). A nod from the Knesset committee could give Nasrallh, Ahmadinejad or our enemies from within, endless ideas of buying political parties, factions and even individual MKs."
According to Galanti, "Pensioners Party voters from all socio-economic levels, and especially from the weaker sectors of society, have been swindled by MK Sharoni without so much as a bat of the eye. These are traitors who without hesitation traded their social platform for a platform of wealth (literally), and crowned as king a thorny bush, an oligarch who doesn't understand the Pensioners Party voters' language, nor does he understand their culture or their past, and never took an active part in Israel's struggle for independence."
"On the backs of the Pensioners Party voters," Galanti continued, "the traitors, headed by Gaydamak, will receive air time for the next elections and will enlist every imbecile and every greedy gold digger, who will put them in the country's leadership, in the Knesset and its committees, in exchange for a fistful of dollars."
The letter also said "for two years, Sharoni has displayed sick megalomania fashioned after [former Romanian leader Nicolae] Ceausescu, or, if you will, Caligula, who recommended his horse for the position of consul in the Roman senate. Back then, it was the first step in the final dismantling of the senate. Will this be the oligarchy of wealth's first explicit step in destroying the Knesset, and assuming power?"