Israeli justice minister blasts state attorney’s office as out to topple Netanyahu

“Almost no one dares to expose the dangerous symbiosis between officials in the investigatory branch, the attorney’s office and the media,” Ohana said.

By World Israel News Staff

Echoing ‘deep state’ accusations heard by the right wing in the U.S., Israeli Justice Minister Amir Ohana sharply attacked the State Attorney’s Office in a surprise press conference on Tuesday evening, describing an “attorney’s office within an attorney’s office.”

Ohana’s remarks came as Likud and other right-wing politicians have expressed anger after two senior advisers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had their cellphones confiscated by police investigators earlier in the week.

“Almost no one dares to expose the dangerous symbiosis between officials in the investigatory branch, the attorney’s office and the media,” Ohana said.

“At the right moment, for example, to evict justice ministers who didn’t find favor in the eyes of the system, cases were pulled out of mothballs and details were leaked to specific journalists – always the same journalists. All this in order that politicians will always remember that the sword hangs above their heads,” he said.

“If this isn’t blackmail, I don’t know what blackmail is,” Ohana added.

Read  ‘The sound of silence’: 2.5 million Israeli students start school

Ohana said that a group of attorneys succeeded “through a small cult of court journalists to establish the notion that there is a War of Light against Darkness where the prosecution protects the public against its own elected officials.”

“A choir of court journalists and interested commentators present dissent as heresy against the rule of law. The prosecution has eliminated the careers of many public figures while the public is convinced that this is cleaning the stables,” the justice minister said.

Ohana didn’t refrain from providing names, and he poured anger specifically on attorney Liat Ben Ari, who runs the taxation and economic crimes division for the Tel Aviv district of the State Attorney’s Office.

Ben Ari headed the three corruption case investigations against Netanyahu. She was raked over the coals by his supporters for absenting herself from three days of the prime minister’s pre-indictment hearings in order to take a family vacation.

Those hearings were Netanyahu’s last chance to convince Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit not to press charges.

Mandelblit and State Attorney Office head Shai Nitzan sent a joint letter on Tuesday evening in response to Ohana’s remarks.

“We regret very much the words of the Minister of Justice this evening. We reject the effort to throw doubt on the work of police and prosecution officials without any factual basis. The legal authorities will not be dragged into the political arena, as it resisted being dragged into it in the past. No one will intimidate us from doing our loyal work.”

Read  Lapid to meet US officials in DC as Netanyahu visit still up in the air