Unions Urge AG Nix Itzik as Knesset Speaker

Israel's unions of directors and scriptwriters have asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to block Dalia Itzik's appointment to Knesset speaker.

The unions claim that Itzik's tenure as communications minister was fraught with suspicions of corruption and breach of trust, and she should therefore be subject to a criminal investigation.

The claims against Itzik focus on her having allegedly backed media mogul Haim Saban in his takeover of key media organizations in Israel against the public's interests and in exchange for generous donations to election campaigns and other events.

The allegations mainly concern a communications conference Itzik held in September 2005 for Israel's most prominent communications firms.

While the Communications Ministry was the official sponsor of the conference, it was actually funded by the participating firms.

"These suspicions reflect a grave phenomenon of the wealthy using large amounts of money to buy off state leaders in order to advance their thriving businesses," wrote the unions in their letter to the attorney general.