Israeli Public Security Minister Slams Justice Ministry for Shielding Offenders

Ministry preventing transfer of information about job seekers’ criminal records to private institutions in the name of protecting privacy, Gilad Erdan says

Minister Gilad Erdan: The Israeli heir to notorious U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Mark Israel Salem

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan criticized the Justice Ministry on Wednesday for preventing the transfer of information about job seekers’ criminal records to private institutions in the name of protecting privacy.

“The area of privacy protection has lost all perspective nowadays, under the auspices of the Justice Ministry,” Erdan told the Knesset. “The protection that the Justice Ministry gives to private individuals helps offenders to hide.”

Erdan was addressing the arrest last week of a substitute teacher in Tel Aviv after a number of second-grade girls told their parents he had kissed them. The man had been hired even though he was being prosecuted for sexual offenses against a 12-year-old and was eventually convicted. This week it was reported that a Tiberias man continued to teach despite being questioned in alleged sexual offenses against children, in a case that is still being investigated.

“The police can only give information about people’s pasts in accordance with what the Justice Ministry allows, because the Protection of Privacy Law is under the Justice Ministry,” Erdan said in response to a question from MK Miki Rosenthal (Zionist Union). “Do I think we must broaden the professions and institutions [about and to which information can be given]? Clearly,” Erdan continued.

Erdan went on to say the Justice Ministry does not recognize the right of private organization that are under contract with government institutions as a result of privatization to receive relevant information about job candidates. “This puts the police in an impossible possible position, in which they cannot provide information even if they have it,” Erdan said.