Senior opposition figures on Monday derided Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to explore whether civil servants might be appointed without tenders as a slippery slope to nepotism and corruption.

According to a report in the Haaretz daily newspaper, Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, “Trump can make 4,000 appointments. We should be able to make a few hundred appointments that don’t need a tender.

“What’s for certain is that with Trump, the officials will carry out his policies. We, too, need to able to govern,” he reportedly added.

Netanyahu set up a committee led by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin to explore ways to remove some of the checks and balances currently in place regarding public appointments, Channel 2 reported Sunday night.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (L) attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on December 11, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (L) attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on December 11, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

On Monday, opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) told his faction’s weekly in the Knesset that the public sector “is the basis for the rule of law,” and that government efforts, led by the prime minister, to increase political appointments would lead to more corruption.

“State employees are not a punching bags, and any damage they sustain harms the foundations of the State of Israel,” he said.

“This is the sign of a political system that has betrayed the people of Israel and that only cares for itself, rather than work for its citizens,” Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid told his party’s weekly faction meeting.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, interviewed on Channel 2, December 10, 2016 Channel 2 screenshot)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, interviewed on Channel 2, December 10, 2016 Channel 2 screenshot)

“The people of Israel have been forgotten because all the politicians care about is politics, politics and jobs,” he said, claiming the committee on political appointments had taken precedence over urgent policies, such as the situation on the Gaza border, the pollution in the Haifa area or the nationwide poverty levels

At present, most civil service posts in Israel are filled through a tender process that is supposed to ensure that appointees have the professional qualifications to take on the job. It is also meant to weed out instances of nepotism and cronyism.