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Friday, December 13, 2019 

Israeli public lost trust in judicial system

Some new polling data indicates the public in Israel lost trust in the judicial system after the attorney-general forcibly declared he was going to indict Benjamin Netanyahu for supposed bribery acceptance:
The Im Tirtzu movement began the second phase of its campaign to save Israeli democracy and restore confidence in the justice system.

The campaign publicizes a Project Panel survey that reveals the confidence of nearly 50% of respondents in the justice system declined in the past year, with more than two-thirds of respondents saying they support establishing an independent audit body for the State Attorney's Office.

A giant billboard on the corner of Allenby and Rothschild Streets in Tel Aviv, entitled "Saving Democracy - Restoring Trust in the Justice System," reveals the desire of the majority of the public to set up a probe committee to scrutinize the investigations leveled against Prime Minister Netanyahu.

On the question of whether the public supports or opposes establishing a commission of inquiry into the conduct of Prime Minister Netanyahu's investigations following the state witness' problematic testimony, 56% of respondents answered they support or strongly support establishing a probe committee, compared to only 26% who oppose or strongly oppose its establishment. Eighteen percent of the respondents did not express their views.

As to whether in respondent's opinion in light of recent events the level of trust in the judicial system has increased or decreased, 49.1% responded that the level of trust in the judicial system has decreased, compared to only 6.2% who believe the level of trust has increased. 39.7% of respondents said their confidence in the justice system remained unchanged.

On the question of setting up an independent audit body for the State Attorney's Office, 68.2% answered that they support or strongly support, compared to only 11.6% who oppose or strongly oppose establishing such a body. 20.2% of respondents had no opinion.

Asked about splitting the Attorney General's function due to his dual role of "Government Attorney" as well as "General Prosecutor", 62.5% of respondents said they support or strongly support, compared to 11.8% who oppose or strongly oppose. 25.7% did not answer.
Here's more on the subject:
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said that the state of the justice system in Israel is unparalleled in the Western world.

"Israel is under the thumb of a judicial oligarchy, which stands in contravention to the basic values of democracy," he said.

"All of the important decisions over the past 20 years were not decided upon by elected officials, rather by a group of judges and legal advisers whose worldview represents a small minority of the public."

"It is only due to this phenomenon," continued Peleg, "that there have been 19 police investigations against Prime Minister Netanyahu to date."

In addition to the polling results, the billboard featured quotes from public figures and senior members of the justice system who have been calling for reform.

These include former ombudsman for the State Attorney’s Office Hila Gerstel, who stated: "Shai Nitzan is not fit to be the State Prosecutor."

Former Supreme Court Justice Tzvi Tal, is also featured; when asked if he trusts the justice system and the Attorney General, he responded "I have question marks."

The billboard signs off with the hashtag #InquiryCommitteeNow.

Im Tirtzu is calling for the judicial system in Israel to be overhauled with major judicial reforms, including the establishment of an independent audit mechanism for the State Attorney's Office, enshrining separation of power between the branches of state in legislation, changes to the method of selecting judges, and establishing an inquiry committee into handling of the Netanyahu investigations.
I firmly believe the time's come to do all that's necessary to mend the judicial system, and Benny Gantz's bunch would do well to participate, and not act like this isn't important. This is something that was long overdue to be worked on.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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