New Right doubles down on Shaked as Justice Minister, despite scandal

Shaked herself said not long after the scandal broke that there have been attempts to “sling mud and lies” at her.

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January 23, 2019 16:13
2 minute read.
New Right doubles down on Shaked as Justice Minister, despite scandal

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett (R) and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked enter the room before delivering their statements in Tel Aviv, Israel December 29, 2018. (photo credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)

 
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Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked starred in a new campaign video for the New Right Party this week, in which she stood, arms folded, as quotes from the media touting her actions as minister appeared around her.

In the week since the judges’ sex scandal became public, MKs on the Left have called for Shaked to resign because of her close ties with the main culprit, former Bar Association president Efi Nave, and have accused her of destroying the judiciary.

Instead of keeping a low profile until the scandal passes, the New Right has responded by making Shaked the focus of its campaign.
Shaked herself said not long after the scandal broke that there have been attempts to “sling mud and lies” at her.

The party began putting out a series of positive messages about the justice minister.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, her co-leader of the New Right, tweeted a graphic of Shaked calling for “four more years as justice minister,” and wrote: “This election is about Shaked’s judicial revolution.”

Two days later, Bennett released an extensive statement about the changes Shaked has made “determinedly, courageously and wisely” to bring varying viewpoints into the judiciary, and saying the attacks on her are an attempt to stop her “revolution.”

The next day, he said “Israel needs Shaked with the justice portfolio for four more years.”

And the day after that, the video was released, which included quotes from various commentators saying Shaked is “the first justice minister who fights” and “There’s an improvement in the judiciary; there are fewer activist judges,” as well as “Ayelet Shaked can come to her [supporters] and say look, this is how we changed the Supreme Court.”

A New Right insider said that they see the attacks from the Left as only making them stronger among their supporters.

“We know she’s the most popular minister in the cabinet,” he explained. “If they’re going to attack her credentials, then we’ll double down on them.”

“There’s nothing the New Right would like better than for Ayelet to be the Left’s focus,” the party insider remarked.

Last week, a gag order was lifted on an investigation of Nave for attempting to promote a judge with whom he had relations, as well as a judge with whose wife he was intimate. The encounters occurred before he was a member of the Judicial Selection Committee. Nave has since resigned as president of the Bar Association.

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