Wanted: A New Justice Minister

Neeman is not sufficiently involved in improving the legal system for the public's benefit.

Yaakov Neeman's modus operandi - walking the fine line between truth and lies, and apparently crossing that line as well - is not worthy of a commercial lawyer, whose main interest is the outcome for his client. It is intolerable in a justice minister. For over 24 hours, Neeman concealed from the public Prof. Yedidia Stern's condition that he would only accept the post of attorney general if the government decided on whether to split the position as soon as possible. Stern, for his part, didn't bother to withdraw his candidacy immediately after a decision on the proposal was delayed - even though the prime minister made it clear that there would be no split in the foreseeable future.

At the least, we have before us a web of lies. In the worst case, perhaps an attempt to split the attorney general position from within - contradicting the decision of the prime minister and the stance of both the Labor Party and Yisrael Beiteinu.

Neeman announced publicly he was "deliberating" between the split and the current arrangement, after he'd already decided privately to split the job. When his hopes were dashed and the prime minister decided against the split, Neeman started to use stratagems to achieve his objective. The meticulously written report in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth regarding the withdrawal of Stern's candidacy (which was actually nonexistent) doesn't change the fact that the candidacy was withdrawn only after Tomer Zarchin exposed the concealed personal friendship between Neeman and Stern, as published yesterday in Haaretz.

Yehuda Weinstein, a professional and highly regarded criminal lawyer, is not the person for the job, which for the most part does not deal with criminal law. The choice of Weinstein, as far as Neeman is concerned, is a step on the way to his appointment as chief prosecutor, which Neeman wants, and to the split that Neeman has declared he will continue to promote.

The worthy candidates for the position of attorney general are Prof. Daphne Barak-Erez and attorney Zvi Agmon, but we need a new justice minister as well: Neeman is not sufficiently involved in improving the legal system for the public's benefit. He undermines the opinions of the prime minister and the coalition, operates in the dark and conceals information from the public to weaken the rule of law. And he sees nothing wrong in employing methods unworthy of a decent person, let alone a justice minister.