The Israel National Ombudsday was celebrated for the first time in the history of Israel on June 30, 2020. The Israel State Comptroller and Ombudsman, Mr. Matanyahu Englman, initiated the establishment of the Ombudsday in order to bring to the fore the individual members of the public and the professionals who engage in complaint investigation on their behalf.
On this historic occasion, the Israel Ombudsman noted that: "This year, because of the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus, we celebrated the Israel Ombudsday in a limited manner. But we, together with the Speaker of the Knesset and the Chairman of the State Audit Committee, recognize the importance of this day and in future years, we hope to invite many ombudspersons and workers in the field in order to raise the flag of awareness of the day-to-day blessed activities of these people (...) I have no doubt that local ombudspersons throughout Israel and the Office of the National Ombudsman provide an address for each and every individual to receive help and assistance in cases of injurious acts and omissions of public bodies."
MK Yariv Levin, the Speaker of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, inaugurated the Israel Ombudsday in the Knesset plenum, stating: "I wish to take the opportunity to express the great value I place on the essential work you are doing courageously, in a forthright and constructive manner, and with professional integrity. I thank you in my name and in the name the citizens of Israel for your work and the work of your office to rectify defects, to improve service to the public and to expose the issues that need to be addressed generally in the area of public service."
MK Ofer Shelah, the Chairman of the State Audit Committee of the Knesset, convened a meeting to discuss the findings in the Ombudsman's Annual Report 46 for the year 2019, which was submitted that day.
The Chairman stated: "We have learned that when there is a stream of complaints about a certain issue, when there are complaints that reveal a general problem - cooperation between the State Comptroller and Ombudsman and the Knesset can bring about legislation and regulation; that handling a particular case can solve a larger problem affecting many people, and that if not for this interaction with the Ombudsman, if not for the 'feet on the ground' of the Ombudsman, we would not have been aware of the existence of the problem."
Dr. Esther Ben-Haim, the Head of the Ombudsman Office stated that: "Today, on the floor of the Knesset, we proclaim for the first time the Israel Ombudsday, a product of the cooperation between the legislative authority and the Office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman. This festive day, which places the individual center-stage, will serve to increase awareness of the institution of the Israel National Ombudsman, and the assistance he can render to each and every person."
Source: Israel State Comptroller and Ombudsman