Daily Israel Report

Struk to Ministers: Don’t Be a Rubber Stamp

MK Struk urges ministers to openly protest the back-room dealing she says led to Shai Nitzan’s appointment.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/20/2013, 12:13 AM

 Cabinet Meeting
Cabinet Meeting
Flash 90

Israel’s ministers must openly protest Shai Nitzan’s planned appointment to the position of State Attorney, MK Orit Struk argued Tuesday, speaking to Arutz Sheva.

Ministers must not only say that they will vote against Nitzan, but must openly declare that they refuse to participate in the vote, she argued. “They must not be used as [Attorney General] Weinstein’s rubber stamp,” she said.

“An alternative process must be established… [Ministers] must demand the Appointment Committee present an alternate candidate as well,” she stated.

The timing of Nitzan’s appointment, just one year after his controversial appointment as the Deputy Attorney General for Special Assignments, indicates that the process is corrupt, Struk said.

One year ago, at the time of Nitzan’s previous appointment, “Weinstein said it was a very important appointment,” she recalled. “And today, it turns out we already don’t need this very important appointment.”

In fact, she said, Nitzan’s appointment as State Attorney proves that his earlier appointment was not genuine, but rather, was intended to set him up to become State Attorney in the future. Others were doubtless aware of the plans to give the post to Nitzan, she said – a fact that could have prevented worthy candidates from seeking nomination themselves.

“Even if there were no problem with Nitzan himself, we would need to demand a different process,” she said. “Because in practice, the government ministers are being used as a rubber stamp to approve something that they have no choice but to approve.”

Struk recalled that she and many others do have a problem with Nitzan himself. Nitzan used underhanded tactics to keep Israelis from protesting the forced eviction of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria in the 2005 Disengagement, she accused.

Nitzan created a draconian anti-protest policy that included mass arrests, she said. Then-MK Micki Eitan, head of the Knesset’s Constitution and Law Committee, was shocked at the harsh measures, she said, but reluctantly agreed to them after Nitzan claimed he was afraid that anti-Disengagement fervor would lead to a political assassination. Nitzan also promised Eitan that a mass pardon would be issued immediately after the Disengagement, Struk said.

Instead, she said, when Eitan asked to hold a hearing after the Disengagement in which the cases against protesters would be closed, Nitzan firmly opposed the idea.

Struk ended with a story from one of the heads of the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Committee, who met Prime Minister Netanyahu in the hallways of Knesset and asked him about the fate of a particular settlement site. The Prime Minister told him, “It depends which government wins,” and when asked, clarified, “It depends if our government wins, or if the attorneys’ government wins,” Struk said.

“The government is furthering this saga with its own hands,” she concluded.