The cabinet unanimously approved on Sunday two nominees to the government’s advisory committee on senior civil-service appointments, after their predecessors were forced out due to alleged conflicts of interest involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, recused himself from the vote because one appointment on which the panel advises is the police commissioner. The police’s corruption investigations against him therefore prevent him from helping choose the panel’s members.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who nominated Prof. Talia Einhorn and Moshe Tery, said the cabinet’s decision would let the committee start work on three urgent appointments – the police commissioner, the military chief of staff and the prisons commissioner.
Einhorn and Tery will replace Iris Stark and Jacob Nagel, both of whom resigned due to a petition to the High Court of Justice arguing that their close relationship with Netanyahu made it improper for them to be involved in choosing the next police commissioner.
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Levin said Sunday that their forced resignations were “patently unjustified” and would make it much harder “to persuade people with proven experience and ability to contribute to public service.”
“In a proper democracy, appointments should be scrutinized and approved by parliament after a hearing, as is done in the United States, not by [external] committees and the judiciary, which have effectively seized the power to determine who will ultimately be appointed,” he added.
Einhorn’s appointment ran into trouble last week because her son, Yisrael, is a senior adviser to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who will nominate the next chief of staff. But the younger Einhorn solved this problem by resigning from his position.
Talia Einhorn, a law professor at Ariel University’s Department of Economics and Business Administration, has published articles arguing that the West Bank and Gaza aren’t occupied territory under international law because they weren’t captured from another country. In 2014, she signed an open letter urging soldiers not to take part in evacuating settlements because “expulsion and uprooting are national crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Tery has held several senior public positions including chairman of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and director general of the Israel Postal Authority.