A victory for Zulat in its battle for the people’s right to know: The hearings of the state commission of inquiry on the submarine affair will be open to the public. The decision came in a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee held on 15 March chaired by MK Ram Ben Barak and with the participation of MKs, defense establishment officials, and representatives of civil society organizations. Among them was Zulat’s Executive Director Einat Ovadia, who presented the institute’s position that the hearings should be conducted with maximum transparency.
A vote held at the end of the meeting unanimously rejected the government’s decision that the commission should hold its proceedings behind closed doors. The hearings will thus be open to the public and a blackout will be imposed only on specific topics at the discretion of the commission’s chairman, former Supreme Court Justice Asher Grunis, thus upholding the people’s right to know and reaffirming the public’s trust in the inquiry.
Einat Ovadia stated at the meeting: “A judge, former Supreme Court Justice Asher Grunis, has been assigned to chair this commission. Were a blackout to be imposed on the proceedings, this would void the judge’s discretion and hinder his ability to make decisions. I call on committee members: Do not approve any clause that imposes a blackout of any kind.”
Watch Einat Ovadia’s full remarks:
>> Position paper: Cancel the blackout on the sessions of State Commission of Inquiry into the Submarine Affair
>> Policy paper: Ensuring Transparency – Opening the Proceedings of Inquiry and Inspection Commissions to the Public