Right-wing MKs bash state attorney appointee for being 'anti-settlement'

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely calls for ministers to reject Shai Nitzan's appointment by special selection committee.

November 19, 2013 19:56
2 minute read.
Deputy Attorney General Shai Nitzan (L).

Shai Nitzan 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)


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Right-wing politicians lashed out against the appointment of Shai Nitzan as state attorney on Tuesday, claiming his record as assistant attorneygeneral showed he was biased against settlers.

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely called for ministers to reject Nitzan’s appointment.

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“Shai Nitzan used his job in the Attorney-General’s Office to force his political stances on the government,” she said.

“The government needs to appoint a state attorney with experience in fighting organized crime, not a man with a record of selectively enforcing the law.”

A selection committee led by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein chose Nitzan out of four final candidates. While there will be a ministerial vote on the appointment, the committee’s recommendation is usually followed.

Bayit Yehudi put out a statement criticizing the state attorney selection process and saying the ministers must demand to be allowed a choice of several candidates, not just the one the attorney-general picks.

“It cannot be that ministers are forced to accept a decision that was already made for them,” the party said.


Bayit Yehudi MK Orit Struck, former chairwoman of the Human Rights Organization of Judea and Samaria, pointed to Nitzan’s track record as problematic.

“A government that appoints a state attorney with a wellknown hostile stance toward settlements in Judea and Samaria cannot say that the judiciary is forcing it into a policy it opposes. The government must wake up immediately,” Struck said.

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud Beytenu) called Nitzan “one of the most extreme left-wingers, who took advantage of his public position to promote a political agenda and defied the law to take on more and more authority.”

The law must be changed, Feiglin said, so that legislators can pick judges and appoint people to major legal positions.

He said this would restore the public’s trust in the judicial system.

Hotovely, Struck and Feiglin all live beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

Many on the Right see Nitzan as a red flag because he approved administrative detention orders against settlers, and because he was involved in the decision to investigate rabbis Dov Lior and Ya’acov Yosef for incitement following their endorsement of a book that says Jewish law permits Jews to kill non-Jews in some cases.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political spectrum, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) congratulated Nitzan, saying that now “constant heavy pressure by those who want to crush rule of law will meet a clear representative of the rule of law, an independent thinker who proved that he is not deterred by threats.”

Yacimovich expressed hope that Nitzan would “continue to protect the independent status of the State Attorney’s Office.”

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