Nitzan Appointment: MKs Come Out Swinging
Nationalist MKs issued furious reactions Tuesday to the announcement by the Justice Ministry that Deputy Attorney General Shai Nitzan has been chosen as the next State Attorney, or chief prosecutor. The State Attorney is directly subordinate to the Attorney General, who is also the Legal Advisor to the Government.
Nitzan is "A leftist radical among radicals,” said MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud), “a man who used his public role in order to advance a clear political agenda and illegally co-opted more and more authority for himself.”
"Shai Nitzan,” Feiglin continued, “the heir to Talia Sasson in the political department known as 'the Department for Special Roles,' is now burying with finality the most important foundation of any system of justice – the public trust.”
Sasson, who preceded Nitzan as Head of the Department for Special Roles in the Attorney General's Office, had also earned a reputation as an enemy of the settlement enterprise who politicized her position of authority. The accusations of political bias were strengthened when Sasson went on to run for Knesset on the radical leftist Meretz ticket.
"It has been proven yet again,” Feiglin accused, “that the system is unable to heal itself, and it is burying the most important element of state sovereignty – the state's ability to try its citizens. The MKs must wake up, transfer the selection of judges and heads of the system to the public's elected representatives, restore public faith in the system and save the legal system in Israel, for all of us.”
MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home/Bayit Yehudi) issued a statement in which she called on the givernment ministers “to refuse to participate as marionettes in the display of genetic cloning that is the appointment of Shai Nitzan.”
Struk added: "A government that votes for a sole candidate that is brought before it, after the appointment of a selection committee that was selected in a way that assured his appointment, is a crippled government, and a government which, with its own hands, appoints a State Attorney whose hostility to the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria is known to all – will not be able to complain afterward that the legal echelon is forcing it to carry out a policy that is contrary to its will. The government must wake up, immediately!”
Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Likud / Yisrael Beytenu) declared Tuesday that he would vote against the nomination, however. Interviewed by Voice of Israel public radio, he explained, "Without any connection to the man, I reject with all my might the practice that has taken root here in which a search committee announces one candidate who is brought to the government for approval...I'm voting against the appointment and demand that three candidates be presented."
Opposition Head MK Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) is happy with the appointment. “In the face of persistent heavy pressure that seeks to crush the institutions of the rule of law, a clear representative of the rule of law is needed. An man who is independent in his thought and opinions, who has already proven in the past that he is not cowed by threats and pressure. I wish him success in his position and hope that he will continue to safeguard the independent status of the State Attorney.”
Justice Minister Livni also congratulated Nitzan. “When we worked together during my first year as justcie minister, I saw his resolute stance against lawbreakers and was impressed by his values and common sense.”
Livni's first year as justice minister was 2004-2005, and included the Disengagement.