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Condemnation for 'unrestrained' verbal attack on Israel's attorney general

The 'lambasting of civil servants is intolerable and unacceptable,' says Herzog

Attorney General Gali Baharav- Miara arrives to casts her ballot for the head of the Israeli Bar Association, at a voting station in Tel Aviv, June 20, 2023. (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog condemned what he called an “unrestrained” attack on the Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara by several cabinet ministers.

Addressing a National Security College graduation ceremony on Sunday, Herzog stressed that criticism is an essential part of democracy but within reason and limits.

“There will always be a place for criticism, that is how democracy works,” he stated, “but the unrestrained lambasting of civil servants is intolerable and unacceptable."

Relations have become strained between the Netanyahu-led government and the attorney general due to disagreements about how authorities should handle those who violate the law during the ongoing anti-government protests against the judicial reform plans.

Several cabinet ministers have accused Baharav-Miara of embracing selective law enforcement and being far too lenient in dealing with the increasingly chaotic protests across Israeli society.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the attorney general for not dealing with the growing number of IDF reservists who are refusing to show up for military duty when they are called in.

“You don't deal with or do anything against those who incite to refusal and non-service in the IDF, against those who act for sedition. It's total inaction, it's a blow to state security!" stated Netanyahu.

Several cabinet ministers echoed the premier’s criticism, with the strongest criticism coming from Israel's Regional Cooperation Minister David Amsalem, who blatantly said the attorney general should no longer be serving in her position.

“She doesn't deserve the job and she never has,” Amsalem said “I think if she had a little self-respect, she'd put down the keys and go,” he added.

Baharav-Miara responded to the harsh criticism by stressing that it was unreasonable in a democratic society to demand suppression of anti-government protests.

“I hope the government is not asking me to say that it wants more aggressive enforcement to suppress the protest against it, against the professional judgment of the [police] commanders on the ground and the state prosecution,” she said.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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