(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
As the Knesset approved the appointment of Israel Prize-winner Prof. Daniel Friedmann as the country's next justice minister on Wednesday, retired Supreme Court Justice Mishael Cheshin called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to prove that his motives in appointing Friedmann were pure, and begged Friedmann to retract the caustic statements he has made about the Supreme Court.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Cheshin pointed out that Friedmann was an outstanding legal expert and an honest man, but that there were other outstanding candidates, and that out of all of them, Olmert had chosen the biggest antagonist in the legal system, a man who could only cause a stir.
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In an emotional appeal to Friedmann as a personal long-time friend, Cheshin called on him not to deviate from the path they had believed in, and to take back his derogatory remarks on the Supreme Court and its president, Dorit Beinisch.
He vowed to defend the Supreme Court, which he said was dear to him, with all his strength, saying, "If someone raises a hand against my house, I will cut it off."
Cheshin noted that Friedmann's statements have been replete with censure, hatred and contempt for the court. He said that anyone who claims that Friedmann's appointment will boost trust in the legal system is hoping in vain.
He also warned that if Friedmann were to continue on his current path with Boaz Okun at his side as director-general of the Justice Ministry, the two of them would be like an acid that would dissolve the system of law and justice.