Knesset Bill Would Compel Leaders to Forgo Profit

Published: January 27th 2010

MK Daniel Ben Simon
Pic: wikimedia commons


A recent bill introduced in the Knesset would encourage prime ministers and presidents to work in the not for profit sector for a minimum of three years after the end of their term.


Submitted by Labour MK Daniel Ben Simon, the bill would limit heads of state from conducting business dealings for personal gain for three years after leaving office, with the aim of encouraging retiring leaders to use their skills for non-profit projects.


The bill would also force former heads of state returning to their previous business after the three-year period to give up state benefits, including medical services, a personal office, and the use of a car and driver. Currently, retiring prime ministers receive such perks for five years after leaving office. Former presidents get similar services for seven years.


If Ben Simon’s bill becomes law, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would have to give up his new job as chairman of the Livnat Group, as well as consulting fees that he regularly is paid by businessman Benny Steinmetz.  Instead, he would have to live on his state pension of NIS 37,000 per month.


Ben Simon explained that it is not ethical for those leading the country to use their influence and the contacts made serving the public to personally profit after leaving office.


He said that he would like to see Israeli politicians follow the example of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who has spend his retirement working on civic projects.


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