Monday, May 30, 2016

Opposition MKs' travel funding clouded by impropriety, paper finds

Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom

Image from article, with caption: Hatnuah Chairwoman Tzipi Livni and Labor leader Isaac Herzog

Dozens of opposition MKs travel overseas at the expense of private and foreign bodies, and while all trips are approved by the Knesset's Ethics Committee, some of them pose a potential conflict of interest, an investigative report by the financial daily Globes said Thursday.
The report followed the political controversy sparked by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira's findings suggesting potential improprieties concerning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's travels in the early 2000s, when he was finance minister.
The report dubbed Hatnuah Chairwoman Tzipi Livni as the overseas travel "record holder," saying that in the past year alone, she accepted 11 invitations from foreign bodies that funded travel expenses estimated at tens of thousands of shekels. ...
Livni's office commented, "All of MK Livni's trips were approved by the Knesset's Ethics Committee, as required. At a time when Israel is fighting international boycotts, and in light of the state comptroller's report on the failures of Israel's public diplomacy efforts, MK Livni, an Israeli stateswoman who is highly respected overseas, is more than proud to represent Israel and its values whenever she is asked to do so."
Livni, the statement continued, "Meets with foreign missions and dignitaries visiting Israel at the Foreign Ministry's request. It is part of her public mission, and she will continue to do so. Any attempt to juxtapose Livni's travels with the state comptroller's serious findings about the Netanyahu family's travels seeks only to pull the wool over the public's eyes." ...

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