High Court Puts Mandelblit on the Spot Again

President Reuven Rivlin with Justice Ofer Grosskopf (R). (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM (Yisrael Price) – Once again, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit will have to make a decision that could directly affect the political future of the state of Israel.

Mandelblit, who made the final decision to indict Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ on multiple corruption charges, has now been called upon by the High Court to determine, if the country goes to new elections, whether the premier will be eligible to form a new government if he wins, according to The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

In response to a petition filed by the Movement for Quality of Government in Israel, and another by a group of high tech entrepreneurs challenging the legality of a Netanyahu candidacy while facing indictment, Justice Ofer Grosskopf asked Mandelblit to give his opinion.

Reply was requested by December 18, at least as to whether he felt obligated to respond before elections on March 2. Grosskopf wanted to know Mandelblit’s thinking on whether the High Court should rule before the elections.

Until now, Mandelblit has tried to avoid the issue, arguing that while it remains theoretical (i.e., there still might not be elections, and even if there are, PM Netanyahu may not get the 61 MKs to form a government), he is not required to give a formal opinion.

However, the petitioners argue that the issue is not merely theoretical, contingent on future events that may not come to pass. That’s because voters have right to know whether Netanyahu has the legal capacity to form a new government before they decide how to vote.