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      Support for Radical Left in State Atty's Office

      The Land of Israel legal forum has asked that senior state attorney Dana Briskman be barred from cases involving leftist groups.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 3/5/2010, 11:19 AM / Last Update: 3/5/2010, 11:58 AM

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      The Land of Israel Legal Forum has turned to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and asked that he bar senior state attorney Dana Briskman from representing the government in cases involving leftist organizations. The Forum explains that Briskman herself is a graduate of a program sponsored by the extreme-left New Israel Fund, and that she has voiced support for the leftist organizations that she is supposed to be fighting in court.

      Briskman is a graduate of the New Israel Fund's Israel-U.S. Civil Liberties Law Program, which offers scholarships to the College of Law at American University to Israeli attorneys who specialize in civil rights. Participants obtain a Master's in civil rights law and then work as interns, first for American civil rights groups and then for rights groups in Israel supported by the NIF.

      After receiving her degree, Briskman worked with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), an organization supported by the NIF.

      "When New Israel Fund organizations file suit against the state, it appears that Attorney Briskman, the state's representative, often supports the plaintiff's case, and essentially makes the court case redundant,” the Legal Forum said in a press release.

      While Briskman completed her official work with the NIF and ACRI many years ago, she herself has testified that her work with the group has had an ongoing impact on her views, the Legal Forum said. In an interview last year for the 25th anniversary of the NIF Civil Liberties Law Program, Briskman praised the program and said it permanently changed her view of human rights issues.

      The attorney said she was “very sensitive to human rights,” and does her best to promote civil liberties from within the state attorney's office.

      While support for human rights may sound praiseworthy, the Legal Fund said, “It's clear to anyone who's been following the New Israel Fund saga which 'human rights' Attorney Briskman is referring to. In the 'New Israel Family,' human rights are relevant regarding only a certain population, and a very clear political orientation.”

      "It's clearly problematic that Atty. Briskman, who worked with ACRI and has declared her commitment to its agenda, and the agenda of other NIF-supported groups, is supposed to represent the state in cases filed by these groups, and even to determine state policy,” the Forum continued.

      The Forum urged Weinstein to deal with the matter “in order to restore public faith in the legal system.”