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MEDIA RELEASE

From the Families of the Victims of the Yarkon Bridge Disaster
which occurred on 14th July 1997
just prior to the opening ceremony of the 15th Maccabiah

KNESSSET MACCABIAH INQUIRY CHAIRMAN BACKS VICTIMS' CALL FOR RESIGNATIONS

At the hearing of The Special Committee in the matter of the Maccabiah Bridge Disaster held at the Knesset yesterday, Chairman MK Micha Goldman said that he will propose, on behalf of the Committee's members, that the responsible executive members of the Maccabi World Union (MWU) stand aside immediately as "those who are morally responsible for the tragedy cannot run away from their responsibilities."

MK Goldman's remarks followed Sydney barrister, Robert Kaye's address to the Special Committee. Mr Kaye representing the families of the victims pro bono, called for the resignations or standing aside of Ronald Bakalarz and Uzi Netanel, President and Chairman of MWU respectively.

Mr Kaye told the Special Committee that such resignations could be achieved by invoking full legal protection and would show;

* "recognition of principles of accountability and governance which are entrenched in every modern legal system;

* easing the burden of the victims and their families and demonstrate sensitivity;

* send a message to Maccabi athletes all over the world that MWU is an organisation prepared to take responsibility."

Mr Kaye further stated that if those bearing ultimate responsibility remain in their positions then this "will be interpreted in Australia as a statement that MWU is indifferent to the well-being of its members all over the world."

Mr Bakalarz is scheduled to appear before the Special Committee on 5 January 1999 where it is expected that the Committee will call for his resignation.

Click here for the full text of Mr Kaye's address.

For further information please contact colin@physico.com.au


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