In the beginning of August, Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn announced the appointment of Shimon Baron as the new director-general of his ministry. The announcement was expected and natural – appointing a director-general is usually one of the first steps of any new minister.Baron was a qualified candidate. A lawyer with more than 20 years of experience, a partner in a big law firm and the legal adviser to Blue and White, he was easily approved by the Civil Service Commission. But the appointment never went through. Two months after Nissenkorn’s announcement, the Justice Ministry still does not have a director-general. Why is this important? Because two weeks ago and under orders from his party leader, Benny Gantz, Nissenkorn set up a search committee for a new state prosecutor, meant to replace Shai Nitzan, who stepped down last December. Under the coalition agreement with the Likud, for the first 100 days of the government no high-level government appointments could be made. Now that the 100 days were up, Gantz and Nissenkorn wanted to get the ball rolling.Everything was moving along until Civil Service Commissioner Daniel Hershkowitz informed Nissenkorn this week that he cannot establish a search committee for a new state prosecutor since he doesn’t have a director-general, one of the officials who needs to sit on the search committee.Now, you might ask, why doesn’t the Justice Ministry have a director-general if Nissenkorn chose Baron in August? Because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to bring Baron’s appointment to a vote in the cabinet, which has to approve the ministerial director-generals.Now, let’s put this together: Nissenkorn wants to appoint a director-general, Netanyahu won’t let him; Nissenkorn wants to establish a search committee for a state prosecutor, and now Hershkowitz won’t let him.All of this ties into the string of exclusive reports that have been airing on Channel 12 over the last few weeks about Nitzan, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and their handling of a series of legal issues, including one connected to Case 4000, the bribery case against the prime minister.What has come out in these recent reports is not a smoking gun that proves wrongdoing in the investigations against Netanyahu. Rather, what they allegedly illustrate are ethical flaws and mismanagement in the top echelon of Israel’s criminal justice system.The latest report, on Tuesday night, revealed recordings that allowed the Israeli public to hear Mandelblit railing against Nitzan back in 2015. At the time, Mandelblit was upset that Nitzan had not completely cleared him of wrongdoing in the infamous Harpaz Affair.The report followed one last month that alleged that Nitzan had covered up possible police misconduct surrounding the shooting of Yaqoub Abu Al-Qia’an during the demolition of Umm al-Hiran in 2017.Again, this case had nothing to do directly with the indictment of the prime minister. That, however, did not stop Netanyahu or his Likud allies from assailing Nitzan, just as they called for Mandelblit’s dismissal on Wednesday.How does this connect to Nissenkorn’s attempt to appoint a director-general at the Justice Ministry? Because what is happening is all part of a strategic plan to help Netanyahu with his campaign against the judicial system as he faces the resumption of his trial in two months.The first step is to stop the appointment of a state prosecutor by Blue and White. The purpose is to try to allow Netanyahu to appoint a “friendlier” state prosecutor, someone who might be prepared to revisit his cases and possibly call for them to undergo a thorough review before the trial advances.The leaks to the press – which Likud MK Miki Zohar pretty much took credit for on Wednesday, when he threatened Mandelblit that the recordings were just the beginning – are meant to create the foundation and legitimacy for this possible review.It is one thing to appoint a friendly state prosecutor. It’s another thing for that prosecutor to then announce that previous decisions are illegitimate. The way for that to be accepted by the public is to first delegitimize the criminal justice system with whatever you can, even cases that have nothing to do with Netanyahu.All of this does not mean that Mandelblit or Nitzan are clear of wrongdoing. But there is also no proof that the process that led to the Netanyahu indictments was tainted. In the end, the decision on those cases will be up to the Jerusalem District Court, which will either convict or acquit Netanyahu at the end of his trial.