New State Comptroller: Social Protests Prove Israelis Aren't Apathetic

Calls for social justice proof that Israelis 'intend - rightly - to demand that their elected representatives do their jobs,' says Joseph Shapira in remarks at swearing-in ceremony.

The social protests "bode well" for the country, suggesting that Israelis are not indifferent, new State Comptroller Joseph Shapira said Wednesday in his remarks after being sworn in at the Knesset.

"The call for social justice is proof that the Israeli people are not apathetic and that they intend - rightly - to demand that their elected representatives in the Knesset and the cabinet do their jobs as public representatives," Shapira said.

"Still, everyone is obligated to honor the laws passed by the Knesset - government agencies and the citizenry alike."

Shapira pledged to fight what he said was a growing plague of officials who refuse to make decisions for fear of criticism. "Not making decisions is a betrayal of the public's trust, and nothing is more important than the public's trust," he said.

"Nobody is free of errors. But if fear of criticism leads to avoidance of responsibility or inactivity, this guts the [public servant's] mission, undermines the service given the public, and could even increase corruption."

Shapira concluded by urging Israeli Arabs, in Arabic, to turn to him when they believe an injustice has been done.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said at the ceremony that there is no place for "delegitimizing the comptroller's reports. A comptroller's report is a life-saving document and should be treated as such."

Newly appointed State Comptroller Joseph Shapira.
Shiran Granot
Social Protest
Daniel Bar-On