Bennett to AG:
'If Dina Zilber isn't fired, we're walking out of meetings'

Bennett announces Jewish Home ministers will walk out of government meetings if Deputy AG Zilber participates; 'She's done advising us.'

Mordechai Sones,

Bennett
Bennett
Flash 90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett today referred to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's demand to dismiss Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber and clarified he would not accept a situation allowing Zilber to continue to serve.

"I declare that if Zilber isn't fired, as long as she arrives at government meetings we will leave and not participate in the meeting while she is there," Bennett said in an interview with Reshet Bet.

"Her role is to provide legal advice, not to educate us. She suffers from megalomania and it's clear that her words are political. Let her resign and run for politics if she wants to. She's done advising us," the Jewish Home Chairman said.

Dina Zilber
Flash 90

Earlier, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announced that Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber will not attend Knesset deliberations until Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit finishes investigating her.

"The Attorney General or someone on his behalf can come and present an opposing legal position, but not political positions," Shaked said at The Marker's Road Safety Conference. "If a senior public official wants to enter into political issues, he should resign and join one of the parties or an NGO. It cannot be done as part of the advisory function to the government.

"There's an argument about the Attorney General's powers. We are divided on the matter of Dina Zilber. The bottom line is that right now she is not attending the Knesset and government until the Attorney General finishes investigating her, which is the bottom line and that's what matters," Shaked said.

Then, Shaked continued, "The position is determined by a ministerial committee for legislation - otherwise it would be impossible to run the State. State Service Regulations also apply to the Deputy Attorney General. It's true that it's possible to express a legal position even if it contradicts the government's position, but no senior public official may enter into political matters. It does damage."

Earlier this morning, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit sent a letter to Justice Minister Shaked, following her demand to forbid Deputy Attorney General Zilber from representing the government in the Knesset or the Supreme Court.

"A decision on the appearance of a legal entity subordinate to me is a decision that is subject to my authority and my exclusive responsibility, and there is no room for intervention in this authority," Mandelblit wrotes to Shaked.

"I do not accept the basic approach that may be inferred from your letter," notes the Attorney General, explaining that he will examine and decide how to relate to Zilber's statements yesterday at the Knesset Education Committee against the Cultural Loyalty Law.

"I intend to examine the statements in your letter and later I will update you on how I find it appropriate to act on the subject," Mandelblit wrote in his letter to Minister Shaked.

Despite the sharp letter from Attorney General Mandelblit, he agreed that Deputy Attorney General Zilber will not participate in Knesset committee deliberations and government discussions until the end of the investigation on the matter.

The offensive remarks came when Zilber spoke of the Cultural Loyalty Law promoted by Culture Minister Miri Regev that expands the existing mechanism of the Nakba Law allowing to cancel budgets of cultural institutions that mark Independence Day as a day of mourning and negate the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

The bill was initiated by Culture Minister Miri Regev and is supported by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

"The days bring not only new laws but new words - loyalty, governance, and more" Zilber said in a discussion of the Law and claimed there is "a wounding social discourse. If someone can be loyal, can someone else be a traitor? A Fifth column?"

"Show us a disciplined and educated people whose thought is uniform. Loyalty in culture is an oxymoron like a thunderous silence," added the Deputy Attorney General.


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