Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev (Likud Beytenu) behaved
unethically, the Knesset Ethics Committee determined on Tuesday, in calling a
meeting to berate a bureaucrat for reporting her political ally, Upper Nazareth
Mayor Shimon Gafsou, for alleged corruption.
The Ethics Committee did not
punish Regev, giving her only a warning because it was her first
Last month, Regev invited Gafsou – who is on trial for fraud,
bribery and other financial crimes – and his municipality’s legal adviser, Olga
Gordon, who reported him to the authorities, to a committee meeting on “work
relations between the elected officials and bureaucrats in
Gafsou, a Likud member for whom Regev campaigned in last
month’s municipal election, was the only mayor invited to the meeting, most of
which the committee chairwoman spent chastising Gordon.
Committee said that, while Regev did the right thing holding a meeting on
general mayor-bureaucrat relations, she was wrong to focus it only on Gafsou, as
the committee does not have the tools to judge the specific incident.
panel also called for all Knesset committee chairs to be balanced in inviting
people to and presiding over hearings.
Regev threw MKs Miki Rosenthal
(Labor), Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) out of the last
month’s meeting for loudly protesting, but her complaint against them was
rejected by the Ethics Committee.
“Indignation by MKs who attended the
hearing was justified, and from there, the road to a riot was short,” the Ethics
Committee wrote in its decision.