Newly-appointed State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan
Newly-appointed State Prosecutor Shai NitzanFlash 90

The government voted Sunday to approve the appointment of Shai Nitzan as State Attorney, despite controversy over allegations of strong left-wing bias.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu voted in Nitzan’s favor, as did ministers Yuval Steinitz, Sofa Landver, Gidon Sa’ar, Yisrael Katz, Gilad Erdan, Limor Livnat, Silvan Shalom, Yair Shamir and Yitzchak Aharonovich of the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu factions, ministers Yael German, Shai Piron, Yaakov Perry, and Meir Cohen of Yesh Atid, and ministers Tzipi Livni and Amir Peretz of Hatnua.

Ministers Naftali Bennett, Uri Orbach and Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party voted against the appointment, as did Minister Uzi Landau of Likud Beytenu.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman abstained from voting due to a conflict of interests. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was unable to vote because he is currently out of the country.

The vote was preceded by a debate between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Ministers Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Katz.

Livni rejected accusations that the process had been wrongly expedited and that she should have interviewed more candidates. Livni admitted in response to Bennett’s question that she had interviewed only Nitzan for the position and had not interviewed other candidates, but argued that only one candidate was put forth for other positions as well, including that of IDF Chief of Staff and of President of the Bank of Israel.

Bennett told Livni she was wrong. “More people were interviewed for the position of Chief of Staff and Bank of Israel President. The minister interviewed three candidates for the position of Chief of Staff,” he said.

Katz, who ultimately voted for Nitzan, was critical of Livni’s involvement in the work of the search committee that nominated him for the appointment.

“According to the protocols, ministers must not get involved in the search committee’s work,” he said.

Landau took the issue further, suggesting that an investigation should be opened into Livni’s behavior in the matter.