Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel SmotrichNo credit

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced that he would boycott the cabinet meeting with Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, calling it a "waste of time."

"My time is too precious to waste it on futile discussions," Smotrich wrote, adding: "The attorney general has a complete conflict of interest. The protesters are protesting for her and for the preservation of the corrupting power she and her friends in the justice system have accumulated over the years."

"Instead of wasting time talking to the deaf, the coalition should simply legislate. This is the best answer to the behavior of the attorney general."

Baharav-Miara will be asked to provide answers to questions regarding accusations of selective enforcement against protestors according to which the current anti-government protests are given a softer response compared to the way previous right-wing, haredi or Ethiopian protests have been treated.

Smotrich will leave the cabinet meeting when the attorney general enters and not be present for that part of the meeting.

The Finance Minister's decision comes as Baharav-Miara stated that she would not delve into specific cases during the meeting on the grounds that several ministers have a personal interest in how law enforcement responds to the ongoing protests. She even criticized the government for holding the discussion at all.

"Especially during a protest against the policies of the government and its policies, the government must be extremely careful to avoid actions that could be interpreted as an attempt to illegitimately influence the professional judgment of law enforcement officials," the attorney general wrote in a letter to Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fox on Thursday.

"The law enforcement system is obliged to exercise its powers in a professional and independent manner. This independence is a central guarantee of the preservation of human rights," she added.