While Haifa Councilman Raja Za’atara was not appointed deputy mayor due to his outspoken support of Hamas and terror organizations, he was appointed to the city’s Security Committee, and he is therefore privy to security information on the municipal level.
The public outcry against the Za’atara, who also expressed his support for Hezbollah, ISIS and other enemies of Israel, compelled Mayor Einat Kalish-Rotem to reconsider the appointment but ultimately, Za’atara announced he was not accepting the deputy mayoral slot but would not apologize for his statements of the past.
According to the Yisrael Hayom report on Thursday, January 10, 2019, Za’atara will be briefed on matters of city preparedness in the event of emergency, security status and other sensitive information that could result in significant harm if passed to the wrong persons. However, it appears that since appointment to this municipal committee does not involve obtaining security clearance, Za’atara is permitted to serve as he does.
Za’atara responded saying, “I am not bribed with cigars, champagne and jewelry, or deal in submarines and I have not extorted news media outlets.” He invites anyone who thinks his serving on the committee is illegal or problematic to speak with Attorney General Mandelblit. He insists he is a loyal councilman and his concerns are for the Jewish and Arab residents of the city alike.
Mayor Kalish-Rotem preferred not to respond.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)