Witch Hunt Talk Riles Mandelblit

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israel attorney general
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit at a Knesset State Control Committee meeting on Monday. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit made his rebuttal to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s accusations of a witch hunt against him on Sunday night.

An irate Mandelblit told the Knesset State Control Committee on Monday that no such thing is going on.

He also rejected coalition whip David Amsalem’s statement earlier in the day that “this is persecution by the Israel Police; this is an actual coup.”

“Let me be clear,” said Mandelblit, “police aren’t persecuting anyone, the state prosecution isn’t persecuting anyone and judicial officials don’t seek to govern or to persecute.”

Responding to accusations that Mandelblit himself has been delaying final disposition on police recommendations for indictments against Netanyahu for political purposes—namely to have it coincide with early elections—the attorney general said:

“There is no intention to delay anything. I strongly protest those remarks and insinuations, it’s completely untrue. I support the police and give them all my backing; I think that everything they did was done professionally.”

“The only thing we pursue is justice and the rule of law,” he added. “That is my duty in order to make the best decision, to use the help of the best people in the field. I am doing that as fast as possible. I will work professionally. I am a professional, not a politician, and I don’t intend to be thinking [in terms of] ‘yes elections, no elections.’”

However, he stressed that that did not mean he was necessarily going to accept the recommendations.

“In these types of cases, as far as I am concerned, the police recommendations are police recommendations, and not the position of the prosecution,” Mandelblit said.