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Livni: Shai Nitzan Appointment Not One-Sided

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni rejects Ministers' claims that government rushed approval of Shai Nitzan; Bennett fires back with criticism.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 11/24/2013, 1:55 PM

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
Flash 90

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni defended last week's appointment of Deputy Attorney General Shai Nitzan as State Attorney Sunday, rejecting claims that the process was unjustly expedited without going through the necessary checks and balances. The State Attorney is directly subordinate to the Attorney General, who is also the Legal Advisor to the Government.  

Livni insisted that the appointment was conducted through her search committee as well as through her direct involvement, and also insisted that other positions - e.g. IDF Chief of Staff - also had only one candidate up for consideration in the appointment process.

Last week, nationalist MKs expressed fury at Nitzan's appointment. Not only was the fury directed at the appointment itself - Nitzan is reportedly against building Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria - but also at perceived unfairness in the appointment process itself.

Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) MK Orit Struk commented, "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." MKs Moshe Feiglin (Likud) and Tourism Minister Uzi Landau also spoke out against the appointment. 

Economic Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) also stated that he opposed the appointment Saturday, and called out Livni on her claims that other positions interview one candidate. "Who really controls the State is not the government officials, but the bureaucrats," Bennett stated. 

"If this were a business, and the CEO would bring only one candidate to fill an important position, the CEO would have been fired in 5 minutes," Bennett continued. "There is a very bad feeling from this whole process - and not because of my personal opposition to the candidate." 

"Why is it that the Department of Justice can appoint a candidate without asking - when other departments would have placed that candidate on trial by now?" he concluded.