Israeli State Prosecutor Appointment Draws Criticism From Mandelblit

Deputy Prosecutor Orly Ben Ari-Ginsberg has been named as Israel’s interim state prosecutor, sparking a sharp rebuke from Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who had recommended Shlomo Lamberger for the position. The position is closely scrutinized because Ari-Ginsberg will replace outgoing state prosecutor Shai Nitzan who oversaw the three corruption investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ari-Ginsberg was appointed by Israeli Justice Minister Amir Ohana, who himself was appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in June 2019. Mandelblit said of Ari-Ginsberg’s appointment, “In my opinion, this appointment deviates extremely from the field of reasonability and therefore there is a judicial hindrance in approving it.” Ohana fired back, stating, “I have no doubt that Orly will work to preserve everything worth preserving, and contribute to strengthening public confidence in this hugely important system.” Reported by i24 News. Read more…

Meanwhile, Likud politician and former Netanyahu protégé Gideon Saar took his shot at unseating Netanyahu from his position as leader of the Likud party. Netanyahu’s position has been weakened in the wake of three indictments for corruption. Likud members have rallied around Netanyahu, who says the charges are politically motivated. Nonetheless some 500 Likud activists, including the powerful chairman of the party’s executive body, attended Saar’s campaign launch which had the slogan “Only Saar Can!” Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

In his effort to overturn Netanyahu, Saar has focused his campaign on Netanyahu’s inability to form a government, paralyzing the country politically. “He (Netanyahu) has failed twice, but it is not because of the Likud’s ideas,” Saar said as he launched his campaign, further warning, “If we do not make a change, we are getting close to a leftwing government.” Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Despite Saar’s challenge, Netanyahu won the primary handily, gaining 72% of Likud votes to Saar’s 28%. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…