Second Likud Lawmaker Threatens Israeli Attorney General Over Army Chief Appointment

Another lawmaker from Netanyahu's party has said that should Likud win the election, they will fire Israel's attorney general if she allows the caretaker gov't to appoint the next army chief

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Gali Baharav-Miara, this month.
Gali Baharav-Miara, this month.Credit: David Bachar

Another Likud lawmaker has threatened to fire Israel's attorney general if she allows the current caretaker government to appoint the military's next chief of staff.

In his warning to Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, 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." He added, "Appointed officials will no longer frustrate those who were elected.”

Karhi – a member of the Likud party, which is headed by former prime minister and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu – also endorsed a widespread purge of senior appointed officials should his party win the November 1 election.

Credit: Yonatan Samiya / Knesset Spokesperson

"Senior officials appointed by a government that is the antithesis of [Likud's] government are officials promoting a certain agenda and a different worldview," he said, "So the default is that they need to be replaced.

“If the chief of staff does things that cross all the boundaries of government policy, then I guess it's possible to replace the chief of staff as well. It is not the end of the world," he said.

Karhi’s comments come a day after 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 will be replaced immediately after the next election if his party rejoins the government.

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

Kisch’s tweet followed a Defense Ministry statement clarifying that its legal adviser, Itay Offir, sees no problem with the caretaker government appointing the next chief of staff.

Sources close to the attorney general said that in light of Offir's conclusions, there is a good chance Baharav-Miara will approve the appointment, but emphasized that she has not yet reached a final decision.

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.”

Defense Minister Gantz announced last month that he planned to continue the process of appointing a new chief of staff despite the government’s collapse.

An election survey released last month shows that in an upcoming election opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his bloc would win 59 of the Knesset's 120, placing them shy of a majority but still eclipsing the dissolved governing coalition.



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