Focus / Rubinstein - the victim
Elyakim Rubinstein is a victim - a victim of the Bar-On-Hebron affair, which plucked him out of the District Court and landed him in the attorney general's seat; a victim of his character, which is more suited to the role of adviser, in the narrow sense of the word...
Elyakim Rubinstein is a victim - a victim of the Bar-On-Hebron affair, which plucked him out of the District Court and landed him in the attorney general's seat; a victim of his character, which is more suited to the role of adviser, in the narrow sense of the word, than to that of a legal spearhead, as is called for by the Israeli reality; a victim of the most prominent of his predecessors, primarily Meir Shamgar and Aharon Barak, in the face of whom he pales and is pushed onto the side of the weakest of legal advisers such as Yosef Harish; a victim of the expectation from him to prove his ability to make it all the way to the Supreme Court; and perhaps also a victim of the "seven-year itch," an incessant stimulation that befell him already last year, in his sixth year on the job.
Rubinstein is not a bad man. He has never been known to transgress any of the Ten Commandments. Guilty is the director who cast a supporting actor into a role too big for him, a starring role.
The netting of attorney Liora Glatt-Berkovich gave him, as it gave Sharon, a tactical victory with an inherent strategic defeat. He has delivered a critical blow to the general prosecution, at the head of which he stands.
Had Ariel Sharon and the remaining suspects and accused, who are keeping the State Prosecution and courts busy, been friendly to their interrogators and had they cooperated with them, as Glatt-Berkovich did, there would have been no need for complex investigations.
Glatt-Berkovich did not play the innocent; she didn't exercise her right to remain silent so as not to incriminate herself; and she did not seek the help of lawyers and media advisers prior to the investigation. Without her confession, the investigation team, comprising her colleagues from the Justice Ministry, would have come up with "circumstantial evidentiary material," without a motive, without a hint of criminal intent.
She spared the team the bother, which generally ends in the closing of investigations due to the lack of guilt, when not dealing with regular citizens, but rather the top brass, whose sweat in the interrogation rooms stains the white of their collars.
In Glatt-Berkovich's position, prime ministers, ministers and mayors would have sat looking doe-eyed at their interrogators.
Rubinstein hurried to cast doubt on the State Prosecution (and police) already at the beginning of the inquiry, appointing a Shin Bet security service agent to monitor them, until the High Court of Justice stepped in to put an end to that. If he suspected a mutual cover-up, it turned out he was wrong: Even without the Shin Bet, the Justice Department people managed to catch their colleague.
Glatt-Berkovich's decision to pass judgment on herself reflects internal mistrust in the system that Rubinstein heads. Had she believed that by encouraging Rubinstein, the law would have been forcefully applied to the prime minister, and he wouldn't have simply made do with a public report (as in the days of the Netanyahu government), she would not have had to decided to leak the document.
Elyakim Rubinstein chose this month to stand up as the enemy of the media's sources of information. This is a bad, yet passing phenomenon: Attorneys general come and go, as do the sources of the media. Far more serious is Rubinstein's undermining influence on the law enforcement establishment, prior to the Glatt-Berkovich investigation, and apart from it.
In his recent crusade against investigative elements in the police, Rubinstein is endangering the holiest of holies of the entire intelligence system - the secret identity of the sources. These matters are ones of life and death and a breach of the fragile trust between informants, coordinators and controllers.