Peres: State Comptroller must protect individual rights

Knesset Speaker calls Ombudsmans "guardian of democracy."

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
President Shimon Peres said that the role of the State Comptroller is to protect the minority during a conference in Herziliya on Thursday morning.
The conference is dealing with the future role of the State Comptroller in a changing society.
"The government only guards the need of the majority," Peres said, "the Comptroller guards each and every individual citizen's rights."
Peres also stated very strongly that there must be "no compromise" in terms of corruption in the government. This is possibly in reaction to a recent OECD report that had Israel listed as the most corrupt country among those polled.
According to Peres, people generally misunderstand the way democracy works, "elections are just the first step of procedure. The real value of democracy is guarding the weaker section, day after day."
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein spoke as well, saying that the very existence of the State Comptroller's role is tantamount to democracy.
"I won't be exaggerating if I say that the institution of the 'State Comptroller' and 'Ombusdman' is the only guardian of democracy," Edelstein declared.
Edelstein noted that in a modern age of technology, where information is instantaneous, there is a special need to have someone who can "put on the brakes and reflect."
The current State Comptroller Joseph Shapira, spoke himself at the conference, reflecting on the importance of the job with which he has been trusted.
"Even in a time of budgetary cuts, we must still defend the weaker sectors of society. The dignity of man is not just a general value, it must be the basis of all government action and laws," Shapira said.