Gali Baharav-Miara will likely serve as Israel's next attorney general, and the first woman to fill the role in Israel's history, following Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar's announcemt Monday declaring her their preferred candidate. The cabinet is expected to support her appointment.
Baharav-Miara is one of three candidates recommended by a search committee, all three of which will be presented to the cabinet by Bennett and Sa’ar, who said they would recommend that it support the appointment of Baharav-Miara.
Baharav-Miara is currently affiliated with the Tel Aviv law firm of Tadmor Levy & Co. Prior to her stint in the private sector, she worked for 30 years in the civil division of the State Prosecutor’s Office. In 2008, she was appointed head of the civil division of the Tel Aviv District, and had prior established and ran the administrative department of the prosecutor’s office. She left the prosecutor’s office in 2016.
Whoever is ultimately appointed will succeed Avichai Mendelblit, who will leave his post on Tuesday. Until a replacement is confirmed, State Prosecutor Amit Aisman will serve as the acting attorney general.
The chairman of the search committee, retired Supreme Court Justice Asher Grunis, opposed the nomination of Baharav-Miara, saying she was not appropriate for the position due to her lack of experience in criminal law. Grunis had also headed the search committee that proposed Mendelblit’s candidacy for attorney general and at the time opposed Mendelblit as well.
Sa’ar issued a statement earlier in the day in support of Baharav-Miara, saying that although it is a good idea to appoint a woman as attorney general for the first time, he supports Baharav-Miara for the position “because she’s the best candidate, the most seasoned, the most appropriate, with the richest and most impressive professional and administrative background."
In addition to Baharav-Miara, the search committee recommended Roy Sheindorf, the Deputy Attorney General for Public International law, and Itay Offir, the legal adviser to the Defense Ministry. The Deputy Attorney General for Public and Constitutional Law, Raz Nizri, who had been considered a leading candidate to succeed Mendelblit, was not a finalist and is expected to leave the Justice Ministry over the next several months as a result.
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The search committee interviewed candidates for the position over the past several weeks. Sa’ar also appeared before the committee and presented his future plans to split the role into two positions – one to be filled by the legal adviser to the cabinet and government authorities, and the other to serve as the country’s chief prosecutor. The committee has met seven times, its sessions including meetings with Bennett as well as with all living former attorney generals.