(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Likud MKs called on Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay to prevent the next candidate on his party’s list, Druse activist Saleh Sa’ad, from entering the Knesset on Saturday night, due to reports of alleged corruption.
The financial daily Globes reported in 2007 that Sa’ad was forced to quit a senior post in the Histadrut labor federation because it was discovered that he received a salary boost he did not deserve due to a fictitious law degree.
“It is sad that someone who bought his way with corruption and was forced out in shame because of a forged diploma and received money fraudulently will find himself at the peak of public service,” Likud MK Oren Hazan said on Saturday night. “It is time for you, Gabbay, to prove to us that you are not a fictional party chairman and that you do not enable corruption. You must demand that the forger will not get to see the Knesset plenum from the inside.”
Another Likud MK, who knows Sa’ad personally, said he also hoped Gabbay would take action and prevent Sa’ad from entering the Knesset.
The Likud MK asked not to be named because of their relationship.
Likud social media groups circulated the story over the weekend after renowned economist Manuel Trajtenberg announced his intention to quit the Knesset to write a book. Sa’ad is due to replace Trajtenberg 48 hours after he formally submits his resignation letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.Globes
revealed that Sa’ad earned an extra NIS 1,000 per month because he had reported that he had a law degree.
The report said that Sa’ad had purchased a fictitious law degree from Lomonosov Moscow State University.
The university told Globes
it had never heard of Sa’ad, and that he would not have been able to remotely earn a law degree because attending classes on campus was mandatory for doing so. Two weeks after the report, Sa’ad quit his job at the Histadrut, and received a hefty severance package.
A few months later, the same newspaper published another report on Sa’ad, accusing him of using a gas station his family owns to submit fictitious expense reports to the Histadrut. Sa’ad’s cousins, who co-owned the gas station, were the sources for the Globes
Sa’ad responded at the time that “the issue of the degree was checked where it needs to be checked and found to be proper and not faulty.” He said his resignation from the Histadrut had nothing to do with the diploma.
The next name on the Zionist Union list after Sa’ad is Lea Fadida, the deputy mayor of Yokne’am, followed by former Kadima MK Robert Tibayev.
Gabbay welcomed Sa’ad to the Knesset in his statement on Thursday, and expressed regret at the impending departure of Trajtenberg. He also expressed satisfaction that the Druse community would be represented in the Zionist Union faction.
Gabbay said Saturday night that he had no comment in response to the reports about Sa’ad.
Sa’ad’s addition would bring the number of Druse MKs back to four, joining Communications Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud), Hamed Amar (Yisrael Beytenu) and Akram Hasson (Kulanu).
Former Joint (Arab) List MK Abdullah Abu Marouf quit the Knesset on August 9, as part of a rotation agreement.