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Mandelblit warns of the "real erosion" of the fundamental legal principles of Israel



State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit warned on Sunday of attempts to "delegitimize" the Israeli legal system, which, as he said, could cause "real erosion" of the legal principles on which the country is founded.

Speaking at a conference in Herzliya, Mandelblit welcomed what he called "legal certainty" of Israel, which, like the army and the economy, is an integral part of the nation's national power. "

Mandelblit said that legal security, however, is now under threat.

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"This feeling stems from a series of simultaneous processes, which are a joint attempt to significantly weaken the institutions whose role to guard and defend legal security," he said, trying to "delegitimize" the legal system.

Mandenblit said that these efforts were not aimed at achieving a specific change in the way the legal system operates or the relations between the branches of government change, but represents the "real erosion" of the legal principles that have served the country since its establishment.

Illustrative: Israeli Courts of the Supreme Court on March 13, 2019 (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

He said that throughout the history of Israel, the legal system was "a source of pride" and was considered crucial to guaranteeing the rule of law.

"But, unfortunately, the most basic fundamental principles of the rule of law, above all the principle of equality before the law, have suddenly become a legitimate issue for discussion and examination," the state attorney said.

"The processes I am talking about – personal and systemic delegitimization, legal weakening initiatives – have become so pervasive and tangible that many in the Israeli public understand that the central element of the country's national resistance can be greatly weakened," he said.

Mandelblit added that criticism of the legal system would be legitimate, but will resist any attempt to undermine her position or the rule of law.

The State Attorney General did not specify what these were the attempts of delegation, but his comments came as allies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on laws that would allow Knesset to annul the decisions of the Supreme Court.

Adopting such legislation would mean what is called the greatest constitutional change in Israeli history, with tremendous potential impact on the balance in the heart of Israeli democracy, denying the courts the ability to protect the Israeli minority and support fundamental human rights.

Also, it would not be accidental that the High Court could not reverse the immunity granted by Knesset to Netanyahu, who faced the indictment, awaiting a hearing, in three cases of resettlement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Secretary of the then Cabinet Avichai Mandelblit at a weekly government meeting in the Jerusalem Prime Minister's Office on July 5, 2015 (Emil Salman / Pool / Flash90)

At a conference, Mandelblit turned to Netanyahu's criminal investigations against which he announced charges, promising him to shake him fairly at a hearing in October.

"I've heard that there are those who already know, before me, of course, I will make a decision at the end of the debate," he said. "They also know that the decision will not be based on professional issues."

Mandelblit strongly denied that it would be the case and said those who claimed that they wanted to undermine the principle of equality before the law.

"It is clear that no pressure can or will not affect my decisions, which will be made solely on the basis of evidence and law," he said.

Netanyahu, who denies abuses, claims that investigations were part of the conspiracy of the media and his left-wing rivals to remove him from power, and that Mandelblit was forced to seek accusations.

"Any allegation of prosecution or allegation … is unfounded and must be rejected," the State Attorney said.

"Investigations in Netanyahu were the oldest [and] experienced officials – committed, honest, brave and honest public officials, "he added.

Netanyahu faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in all three cases, as well as bribing in one of them.


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