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Rights Group’s ‘True Test of Likud’ – Not What You Might Think

A legal rights group warns that the real test of Netanyahu’s intent is here – and involves a routine appointment.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 6/15/2012, 1:32 PM

Israel flag in Judea
Israel flag in Judea
Reuters

The appointment of a new Deputy Attorney General, a routine matter, is far more important than it may seem, says Orit Strook, head of the Human Rights in Yesha (Judea and Samaria) organization.

The appointment can be used to determine whether or not Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government truly supports Israeli life in Judea and Samaria, she told Arutz Sheva. Appointing a pro-Judea and Samaria attorney would show that the government wants to find peaceable ways to resolve legal conflicts in the area, she explained, while appointing an attorney known for pushing demolition in the region would show the opposite.

“They can’t come cry to the voters that they want to help the settlements but cannot for legal reasons, on the one hand, while appointing another person who will do the same things on the other hand,” she declared.

Current Deputy Attorney General Mike Blass has been criticized as hostile to Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria. “The senior staff in the Legal Ministry is very talented in working with itself to oppose settlement in Judea and Samaria, to neutralize government decisions and impede settlement activity using all kinds of legal obstacles that they invent on a daily basis,” Strook accused.

She dismissed claims that Blass is merely upholding the law. “The law can be interpreted this way or that way, it depends who is doing the interpreting,” she said, adding, “The tricks that Mike Blass managed to find to neutralize Judea and Samaria, overturning every stone – that was something extraordinary.”

There have been efforts to get Attorney Shai Nitzan appointed in Blass’s place. Nitzan is not a good replacement, said Strook, “He worked hand in hand with Mike Blass.”

She welcomed the State Control Committee’s decision to look into the push to appoint Nitzan. “I’m happy that the State Control Committee will discuss the matter next week. We are convinced that the government will not go along with the plan.”