The reign of the prosecution

At four in the afternoon, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s office announced that at 7:30 in the evening he would announce his decision to indict Netanyahu. The underlying message was crystal clear: The day after Gantz returned his mandate to form a government to President Reuven Rivlin after he failed to get a sufficient number of coalition partners to build a government, Mandelblit said that there’s no point in talking about whether or not Israel is going to new elections in March.

Voters don’t decide anything. The lawyers do. Politicians are irrelevant. The only people who count in Israel today are the unelected attorneys who run the country.

But then we already knew that. And the fact that – as expected – Mandelblit announced sternly that he is indicting Netanyahu on three charges of breach of trust and one charge of bribery was at best anticlimactic. The game was up – if it was ever in play – in February.

Last February, at the height of the first election campaign of the year, when Netanyahu and his right wing coalition partners were leading in all polls by a wide margin, Mandelblit took the unprecedented – and legally dubious – step of announcing his intention to indict Netanyahu of those charges – pending a pre-indictment hearing. The moment he made his announcement, the right began to slide in the polls. The Leader had spoken. And we had no right to question him. Blue and White’s scattershot campaign converged around Mandelblit’s “recommendation.” The left had a rallying cry and a reason to vote. Netanyahu’s neck was on the chopping block.

Ever since Mandelblit gave his “recommendations,” he and his comrades have been the only political actors with any power to speak of. Our actual elected leaders were rendered bit players in the lawyers’ regime. Mandelblit’s announcement Thursday just made it official.

To the cheers of Israel’s corrupt media, for the past three years our legal overlords have gnawed away at all aspects of political power in Israel, and in the process – not that they cared – they corrupted Israel’s legal system from top to bottom. From beginning to end, their criminal persecution of Netanyahu has been a travesty of every norm in democratic societies governed by the rule of law. 

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