Military Chief Appointment: Attorney General Says Won't Be Influenced Amid Threats

The attorney general vows to keep the procedure "professional" amid threats by two Likud lawmakers to replace her after the election

Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni
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Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara in Tel Aviv University, on Monday.
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara in Tel Aviv University, on Monday.Credit: Moti Milrod
Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara on Tuesday vowed to keep the procedure to appoint a new military chief "professional," days after two Likud lawmakers threatened to remove her from the position if their party wins the election.

Speaking at a conference at Tel Aviv University, Baharav-Miara said that the recent backlash will not deter her and that "it is not possible" to halt governmental activity. The attorney general stressed that the appointment will be made "without outside influences and based on professional motives."

Also speaking in the conference, Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar said that the threats of replacing appointed officials if they don't fall in line with a particular agenda must be rejected by anyone who "wants a strong, objective, and independent justice system."

Over the last few days the attorney general came under threats from two Likud lawmakers over her authority to approve the appointment of the next military chief by the current caretaker government.

MK Shlomo Karhi told Israel's Radio 103FM, “It is impossible to work in such a disharmonious way, with someone appointed by someone who prefers to sit with the Muslim Brotherhood." Referring to Baharav-Miara he said "Appointed officials will no longer frustrate those who were elected.”

Karhi also endorsed a widespread purge of senior appointed officials should his party win the November 1 election, saying that officials that promote "a certain agenda" opposite of the elected government's point of view "need to be replaced."

The day prior to Karhi's interview fellow Likud lawmaker Yoav Kisch also appeared to threaten the attorney general, saying that if she allows the current government to appoint the next army chief, she would be replaced immediately after the next election if the Likud rejoins the government.

Several hours later, Kisch tweeted that his previous statement "wasn't a threat".

The Defense Ministry meanwhile issued a statement clarifying that its legal adviser, Itay Offir, sees no problem with the caretaker government appointing the next chief of staff.

Following the controversy, Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke with Baharav-Meira on Monday and told her that she had his “full backing,” the Prime Minister’s Office reported, and that he is committed “to protect the judicial system from those who want to harm it.”

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