Former justice minister Daniel Friedman confirmed Monday – though not in so many words – that the state Prosecution has instilled a reign of terror in which politicians fear that if they do not act in a way that is politically acceptable to it, they will wind up facing criminal investigation.
This is a long-standing nationalist charge, but coming from ex-justice minister Friedman – who is considered a man of high integrity, a respected academician and a leftist to boot – it receives added corroboration.
Speaking on Channel 20's The Patriots, Friedman said:
"What I see, time and again, is that people who speak in the direction that I am talking about – once they enter politics, they change,” Friedman said.
Host Erel Segal asked him point blank: “Does the system file trumped up charges against a person it does not want as justice minister? Were you afraid of trumped up charges?”
"If we look at the past,” said Friedman, “there were several cases in which people were put on trial and investigated that have no reasonable explanation. That is what I am willing to say...”
"I am willing to add another thing,” Friedman continued. “It is true that the politicians are very very afraid from the fact that if they do not behave in the way they are 'supposed' to behave, that it will have very negative consequences on a rainy day. This fear exists.”
It is a well-known fact that over the years, justice ministers and candidates for the position whom the Supreme Court and Prosecution elites did not like – from Yaakov Ne'eman, through Reuven Rivlin to Haim Ramon – found themselves under investigations that prevented them from being appointed or forced their resignation. A similar pattern appears to be in play in the relations between Avigdor Liberman and the Prosecution. Liberman himself has stated numerous times that the Prosecution and police always hound him when elections are near, in an effort to harm him politically. A criminal investigation against him was inexplicably kept open for 17 years.
Some speculate that the reason Liberman has opted to stay out of the current coalition – thus leaving it precariously slim, at just 61 MKs – is the fear that the Prosecution will draw him into the ongoing large-scale investigation of corruption that centers on ex-MK Faina Kirshenbaum, a senior member of Liberman's party. There has been no confirmation, however, that this is indeed the case.