Mandelblit Says Justice Vacancy Can’t Be Ignored

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. (Flash90)

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit issued a legal opinion on Tuesday which would trim the authority of the government’s special coronavirus and security cabinets.

Mandelblit said that until a Justice Minister is appointed, the special cabinets will have to defer decisions to the full cabinet. As the subcabinets were established to allow faster and more efficient decision-making, the result will presumably be less efficient operation.

Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz, assumed the post of Justice Minister after Avi Nissenkorn vacated it earlier this year, and his appointment expired on April 1.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has since refused to renew Gantz’s appointment, and Gantz will not allow the approval of a new budget to purchase coronavirus vaccines until the post is filled.

Mandelblit said that in order to function, the cabinets have to maintain the balance of votes between the two parties, as stated in the coalition agreement. The vacancy at Justice gives Likud a one-vote edge.

Meanwhile, cabinet-level decisions will require the full cabinet.

The decision on Monday night to fully reopen the education system starting from Sunday after over a year was approved by the full government, whereas until now the coronavirus cabinet could have authorized it on its own.