Daily Israel Report

MK's Law to Have Former Leaders Work for the Community

Labor MK's bill would prohibit former leaders to own private businesses for personal gain for three years after the end of their tenure.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/7/2011, 3:10 AM

MK Daniel Ben-Simon
MK Daniel Ben-Simon
Flash 90

MK Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor) announced on Sunday that he plans to submit a bill to the Knesset that would prohibit prime ministers and presidents to own private businesses for personal gain for a period of three years after the end of their tenure.

Instead, MK Ben-Simon’s bill will have these former leaders focus on activities for the benefit of the community and society at large.

Ben-Simon told Arutz Sheva that such laws are part of the norm in countries such as the United States, Germany, and France, where a leader does not turn to work in the industry to earn huge sums as soon as he leaves office.

He described as “distasteful” the conduct of prime ministers such as Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who promoted private businesses for huge salaries immediately after the end of their tenures [Netanyahu, who is Prime Minister today, previously served in the position between 1996 and 1999. Barak, today the Defense Minister, was Prime Minister between 1999 and 2001. –ed.].

“I do not want to see a prime minister, who can lead the army to a war or make peace with our neighbors, going to make money in the United States right after leaving office, as Barak did when he promoted a product in the U.S. or as Olmert is now doing – promoting some tycoon’s business,” said Ben-Simon.

“If they want to work for these tycoons, let them give up the bodyguards or the salary the state pays them, and so on,” he added. “It’s contemptible to see Ehud Barak sitting on boards and spreading out maps on a table to promote the sale of some product.”

He suggested that when they leave office, former leaders should “head a research fund and fundraise for it or go to southern Israel and work towards developing the towns there. What’s wrong with that?”