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Is Israel's justice minister determined to undermine the judicial system?

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's proposal to let Israeli ministries select their own legal advisers reflects an alarmingly undemocratic political trend.
Israeli Justice minister Ayelet Shaked delivers a speech during the swearing-in ceremony for the incoming Israeli president of the Supreme Court, Esther Hayut, at the Israeli Presidential residence in Jerusalem on October 26, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX        (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Knesset’s Justice Committee hasn’t had a meeting like Monday's in a very long time. On June 25, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of HaBayit HaYehudi submitted legislation that would allow each minister to select the legal adviser for his ministry. She faced opposition from three senior figures — the current and two former attorney generals. In the administrative hierarchy of government, the current attorney general serves under the minister.

Justices Yitzhak Zamir and Elyakim Rubinstein do not visit the Knesset frequently, while the current attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, is very uncomfortable with situations in which he opposes the justice minister’s position, especially when he rejects it so firmly and so publicly. The three of them cannot be accused of engaging in some political conspiracy. They have very different worldviews, so that their appearance together at the meeting gave a sense that a red line is being crossed.

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