Israel Hayom

The Netanyahu cases: A propaganda machine

The ongoing leaks on the investigations against the prime minister have severely undermined law-enforcement's credibility in the eyes of the public.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the plenary session in the Knesset on Oct. 31, 2018. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the plenary session in the Knesset on Oct. 31, 2018. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.
Haim Shine

Israelis have been subject to a 24/7 campaign by a Bolshevik propaganda machine for the past several years.

Politicians, so-called intellectuals and various media talents have tirelessly tried to further their own agenda, and the hell with integrity, truth and justice. As part of this effort, they have thrown by the wayside the notion that people who do not share their views should be awarded at least minimal respect.

The modus operandi of this machine has been fully on display in recent days.

The purists on the left have hogged the airwaves, insisting that Public Security Ministry Director ‎General Maj. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Edri was rendered unfit to serve as police commissioner by the Senior Appointments Advisory ‎Committee, headed by retired justice Eliezer Goldberg. But they are deliberately misleading us. The committee was evenly split, with two saying that he was fit and the other two saying that he should be disqualified.

Because of this deadlock, the chairman got to cast the tie-breaking vote, essentially voting twice. Thus, the so-called rejection was a pure technicality.

Anyone listening to Goldberg’s interviews in the wake of the decision would conclude that he is prejudiced against Edri. First, he claimed that Edri did not pass the lie-detector test, but when the other committee members told him he was wrong, he retracted that comment. In another interview, he hung up on the interviewer after he was asked about the controversial meeting Edri had with the lawyer of someone who complained against the would-be commissioner.

If we had an objective media, it would have slammed Goldberg for his treatment of “Mr. Edri,” as he often refers to him. But because outlets share Goldberg’s views, they have stayed silent. They know how to skewer those who do not serve their agenda, as well as to treat with kid gloves anyone who serves advances their worldview.

The media’s conduct in the Edri affair is similar to how it derailed the appointment of Brig. Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch as police commissioner several years ago. This is the same, tried and tested modus operandi aimed at impeaching someone’s record and ending his career. The ratings war of the mainstream media against the social networks have led to the discarding of common decency.

The hard-working reporters of the good old days are now reckless hunters. As far as they are concerned, a person from the right should be disqualified from serving by definition, and thus one must find his flaws. This has become a strategic problem because it means that good and talented people are increasingly wary of entering public service. In light of this conduct, people are going to steer clear of positions that put them in front of sensation-driven journalists who would sling mud on them while colluding with law-enforcement agencies.

By law, the attorney general is supposed to provide the government with legal counsel so that it could advance its agenda. If he disagrees with a certain policy, he can choose to recuse himself. He is not the High Court of Justice’s representative in the cabinet; the exact opposite is true. The attorney general is supposed to represent the government in the High Court of Justice and to help it realize its objectives. But the way Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has backed Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber underscores a systemic failure. I am baffled by this.

Zilber recently lashed out against elected officials and voiced her political views. This disqualifies her from the job, and in any other country, she would have long tendered her resignation in order to pursue a career in politics. Back in the early 1990s, then Justice Minister David Libai terminated Plia Albeck, a senior official at the State Attorney’s Office, after she leaked a document outlining her views on a Knesset member. The self-proclaimed defenders of the rule of law on the left stayed silent when she was fired, but when a public servant serves their cause, they give him or her their full backing.

The ongoing leaks on the investigations against Netanyahu have severely undermined law-enforcement’s credibility in the eyes of the public. The attorney general says that the police is not out to get Netanyahu, but I would advise him to step out of his office and listen to what the people on the street are saying. Any decent individual would conclude that there is a campaign to take down the prime minister without going to the polls. There is no greater threat to democracy.

For the umpteenth time, this week the evening news began with leaks on the Netanyahu investigations. These leaks put into question the logic behind those who leak and their good judgment. A police organization that lets investigative documents leak like a flooded roof is an organization that has lost the public’s trust.

“Justice, justice you shall pursue,” the Bible tells us. But even when one pursues justice against the prime minister, the fundamental underpinnings of due process must be upheld.

Let me dispense some advice to all left-wing purists in the legal system, academia and the media: Let the people decide whether you have the right vision for the country. Convince the public that you are better, don’t destroy Israeli democracy just so you can further your fake agendas.

Dr. Haim Shine is a faculty member of Israel’s Academic Center of Law and Science, and a member of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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