(photo credit: kkl)
The Petah Tikva District Court will hold a hearing on Sunday that could decide
who will be the chairman of the Keren Kayemet L’Israel/Jewish National Fund,
after an ongoing dispute between current chairman Effi Stenzler and Agriculture
Minister Shalom Simhon.
Simhon was elected to head KKL/JNF by the
Labor/Meretz/Reform faction of the Zionist Congress on June 17. Israeli Labor
delegates boycotted the vote, which Stenzler made a point of not participating
in, because he considered it illegal.
In response to a petition from
Stenzler, a Petah Tikva District Court judge issued a restraining order
night putting the results of the vote on hold until Sunday’s hearing.
charged Simhon with showing disrespect to the court for not following
to hold a race between the two of them in the Labor Party’s
Simhon countered that the election was legal and that there
was no need for Israeli Labor delegates to participate as long as he won
majority of the secret-ballot vote in the Labor/Meretz/Reform faction
Meretz, Reform and Labor delegates from overseas. His associates said
should have run or asked for a restraining order before the vote and not
Deputy Attorney-General for Legislation Nurit Goren has opened an
investigation into whether it would be legal for Simhon to go directly
current post to the chairmanship of KKL/JNF.
Weinstein’s office sent a letter announcing the probe to the Ometz clean
governance organization, which asked him to investigate whether Simhon
need a three-year cooling-off period before switching from one post to
other, due to potential conflicts of interest.
Yisrael Hayom reported
that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has looked into the possibility
intervening to delay Simhon switching posts for a few months, because he
his help politically. Simhon chairs the Labor faction and is considered
right-hand man of Defense Minister Ehud Barak.