Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit chastised Deputy Attorney-General Dina Zilber on Thurday, saying that she had overstepped her position by making politically charged comments about the cultural loyalty bill in public, but that she will continue to represent the government in the Knesset and in other government forums.
Zilber had angered Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked earlier in November by criticizing the cultural loyalty bill during a meeting of the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee.
Shaked fired back at Zilber's public criticism, announcing that Zilber will no longer be allowed to represent the government position in the Knesset or in other government forums due to her display of personal bias. Shaked added that Zilber should run for political office instead.
In turn, Mandelblit responded sharply to Shaked's ultimatum
, saying that Shaked had exceeded her authority and has no control over Zilber’s public appearances. Rather, Mandelblit said that he, and he alone, decides who will represent the attorney-general’s office in government forums.
Regarding the issue of Zilber’s status, Mandelblit said he had not reached a decision and was studying the issue.
Shaked responded to Mandelblit's statements on Thursday afternoon, saying that, "Zilber acted with a lack of authority by her political comments in the Knesset committee. According to the Knesset's Basic Laws, the authority to elect representatives of government ministries on Knesset committees is given to the responsible minister only."
"Therefore, and in light of the Attorney-General's rebuke to attorney Zilber, I will not allow her to appear in the Knesset committees in the coming session. The role of public officials is to express the policy of the political echelon and to aid in actualizing it as long as it exists within the framework of the law, and not to declare manifestos and serve as a political actor," Shaked added.Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.
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