The era of Mandelblit – saving on the law

 The Age of Mandelblit – saving on law

The term of office of Avichai Mandelblit, the Attorney General and legal adviser to the government, is about to expire. We never say goodbye to him – he is preparing to take over as a member of the Supreme Court. And yet we can talk about the end of the Mandelblit era, as controversial as the personality of this figure.

Even when he was military prosecutor, Avichai Mandelblit was marked by sharp criticism of the IDF. He often accused military personnel of the unjustified use of force and ensured that representatives of the military prosecutor's office took part in the planning of hostilities. At the same time, he actively defended the Israeli army against accusations from international commissions; in particular, under his influence, the head of the UN commission, Goldstone, renounced a number of claims against Israel following the results of Operation Cast Lead.

organizations and the legal justification for the actions of the army during the unilateral disengagement.

As Prosecutor General and Legal Adviser to governments, Mandelblit ruthlessly submitted investigation materials against major politicians – Deri, Litzman, Kirshenbaum, Misezhnikov and others – to the court. But, of course, his most striking act will remain the filing of charges against Netanyahu under three criminal articles. To one his decision seemed bold and responsible; Mandelblit was praised for the fact that he was not afraid of the almighty Bibi, he put law and law above political considerations, although he knew what a storm he would cause in the country. Netanyahu's supporters saw in the Prosecutor General only a participant in the conspiracy of the media and the law enforcement system against their idol. Or maybe he just decided to become famous in this way, to write his name in the legal history of Israel?

However, only two years had passed, and the prosecutor general suddenly offered the ex-premier a deal: a suspended sentence in exchange for leaving politics. What was he guided by in this case, if not political interests? How can a lawyer defending the law release a criminal if he is sure of his guilt? And if he wasn't sure, why did he put Bibi on trial?

However, no one has any idea whose interests the Prosecutor General is protecting, who is behind him and who he is playing for. His own political views are also unknown. But the fact that there is politics behind the deal, – undoubtedly. And it also fell apart for political reasons – because Netanyahu did not agree to recognize his actions as shameful, which would deprive him of the opportunity to hold elected office for seven years.

But other deals were quite successful. Aryeh Deri, accused of financial crimes, will not go to jail. Yaakov Litzman, who is accused of helping pedophile Malka Leifer to evade responsibility, will escape punishment. In other words, the Attorney General pompously opens high-profile cases with one hand, and closes them with the other.

Pre-trial transactions under Mandelblit, they received unprecedented distribution. Their main advantage – saving. Saving time and salaries of judges. The costs of the accused for lawyers and the costs of his maintenance in prison are saved. Media interest in the failed process is decreasing – this was probably what Mandelblit was guided by when he tried to slow down Netanyahu's affairs, realizing that he would no longer lose fame and glory from this. True, the question arises: what does the law have to do with it? Shouldn't anyone who violates it be held accountable for their actions, and not buy freedom and impunity? It seems that our law enforcement officers are trying to save money on its use. The result is complete absurdity: the one who pleaded guilty goes home, and the one who did not plead guilty, but lost the process, goes to jail.

It is still not clear why some high-ranking leaders under Mandelblit went to jail, while others were limited to a deal. Maybe the point is that Kirshenbaum and Misezhnikov – “Russians”, and Deri and Litzman – representatives of major religious movements? And again – what does the law have to do with it?

In itself, the combination of the position of legal adviser to the government and the prosecutor general – an extremely strange phenomenon in which a priori there is a conflict of interest. The same person advises management on the legality of his actions and brings charges against him – in fact, playing simultaneously in two competing teams. At least one lesson needs to be learned from the Mandelblit era – share these powers.

The Attorney General ends his term by closing another scandalous case – against the policemen who killed the teenage settler Ahuviya Sandak during the chase. This decision provoked the ire of both right and left politicians. And here, again, it is not clear: either the Prosecutor General is covering for his own people, or he does not want to leave the case with obvious political overtones to his successor. But the fact is that we are again saving on the law, and this is how we will remember the era of Mandelblit.

Author: Ira Kogan.

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