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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Shai Nitzan’

Enemy of Settlements Picked for AG in Time for ‘Peace’ Enforcement

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

A civil servant named Shai Nitzan was appointed this morning to be Israel’s next Attorney General. No one would accuse Nitzan, who’s been serving as Deputy AG for some time, of being bad at his job. He is an excellent jurist by most people’s account.

Here’s the problem: Shai Nitzan has been a sworn enemy of National Religious Jews, most emphatically of those of them who reside in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. He is the brain daddy of preventive removal of Jews from their homes, not because of things they’ve done, but because of what he suspects they will do. He’s been known to pick up prominent rabbis for questioning based on their writings (See: Committee Recommends Another Leftist, Anti-Settlements AG).

Again, none of what he did in his various roles at the Ministry of Justice was illegal or even unethical, at least by Israeli standards. The curious part about his appointment is that it was done with the near-unanimous support of the Netanyahu government.

Three of the five parties that formed the current coalition government describe themselves as right wing, and certainly as friends of the settlement movement: Likud, Israel Beiteinu and Jewish Home. In any normal democratic system, where a correlation exists between the will of the voter and the direction of the government, Shai Nitzan would not have been proposed, much less approved for a position that gives him—literally—the power of life and death over a population of close to half a million people which he detests on ideological grounds.

In the democratic West, this kind of corruption of the will of the voter—and the settlement movement could share with you thousands of stories, believe me—is possible only in Israel. But this particular plot gets thicker.

Mk Avigdor Lieberman, boss of the Israel Beiteinu party, was recently acquitted by a panel of three magistrate court judges of all charges of political corruption. Liebrman had given up his ministerial office for the duration of his trial, and after the unanimous acquittal was reinstated. But it was decided that he couldn’t vote today, because the current AG, Yehuda Weinstein, hasn’t yet decided whether or not to appeal the acquittal. It seemed more ethical that way.

Except that the committee that recommended Shai Nitzan for the job was chaired by… AG Yehuda Weinstein.

In other words, a civil servant, Weinstein, can prevent an elected official from voting on his recommendation even though said public official is not only innocent until proved guilty – he is innocent by a unanimous court decision.

I emailed a Lieberman staffer for a comment on this bizarre situation, and he preferred to pass. They don’t need trouble.

Wait, there’s more. The search committee for these high level jobs normally comes back with two to three candidates. It’s a courtesy to the political echelon, but also a reflection of an honest effort to provide elected officials with ample choices. The fact that the Weinstein committee went with a single candidate was a dare to Netanyahu and to the right. And the whole country knew Bibi would blink first.

The folks at the State’s Attorney have dossiers on everyone, and some of the folks in government today, including Netanyahu, have already tasted what it’s like to be dragged like common criminals for questioning in police interrogation rooms. And as any person who’s ever delved into politics knows, there’s always something you did wrong.

The entire country knows that the miraculous transformation of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from being the father of Jewish settlement in the liberated territories to the scourge of Gush Katif had to do with a case the civil servants were going to bring him down with, involving the 1999 Greek island scandal, millionaire developer David Appel and Sharon’s son Gilad.

This is why staunch opponents of Nitzan in the government, like Israel Beiteinu’s Yair Shamir and Israel Katz of Likud ended up voting in favor, and why Lieberman played nice and didn’t start trouble for AG Weinstein: they’re afraid of the State’s Attorney’s office and of the police.

Former Justice Minister Daniel Friedman, whom no one suspects of being a right winger, is to date the bravest reformer of the process by which judges, in all levels of the system, are chosen. His entire term in office was marked by bloody skirmishes between himself and the judicial system. His new, voluminous book, hot off the presses, titled “The Purse and the Sword,” is a well documented attack on his old nemesis, arguing quite successfully that Israel’s democracy is governed not by its elected officials, representatives of the voter—the only legitimate sovereign in a democracy—but by its jurists, led by the Supreme Court and the Attorney General (known here as the government judicial advisor, an innocent title that packs a lot of fang).

I plan to devote a great deal of time in coming days to Prof. Friedman’s book, because it points out Israel’s most severe threat to its democracy and independence. So much so, that I’ve been having a hard time deciding today which vote would bring more harm to the Jewish State, the 5+1 vote to greatly reduce the Iran sanctions, or the Shai Nitzan vote, which placed a staunch enemy of the settlements at the head of the system that may be issued, in a few months, with task of uprooting thousands of Jews from their homes.

Iran’s threat comes from the outside, and as such it may even have a positive effect on Israeli society, uniting it and enhancing its resolve. But the complete control the judiciary has gained over the other branches of government is a seeping cesspool of corruption that may decompose the country from within.

Committee Recommends Another Leftist, Anti-Settlements AG

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

First, there was the subversion of the process. The search committee whose job it is to recommend the next State Attorney (roughly the equivalent of the American Attorney General), normally sends up a list of two or three candidates for the government to select from. When they decided to choose just one name, they basically made the appointment themselves, daring Prime Minister Netanyahu and anyone objecting to the nominee to openly challenge them.

Minster of the Judiciary Tzipi Livni was ecstatic over the committee’s singular selection: Deputy Attorney General Shai Nitzan.

As Jewish Home MK Orit struk put it, Nitzan is known for his hostility to Jewish life in Judea and Samaria, and should the Netanyahu government approve his nomination its right wing members would have no one to blame but themselves when he browbeats them into following a distinctly anti-settlement policy.

So, if you’ve been following the historical process by which the largely Ashkenazi, largely left-wing judicial establishment has been taking over the running of the country from its elected officials and, by extension, from the ultimate sovereign, the voter – this one should be a biggie in your book. as big as the high court’s campaign to force public officials who have been charged with crimes—accused, mind you, not convicted—to resign their elected posts.

It’s a vital process for the secular Ashkenazi minority, whose numbers are dwindling rapidly. Israel’s ruling class raises poodles, not children, and so an electoral win is already out of their reach. What’s left is the repression of the plebeian voter’s democratic rights.

(The remedy for this ongoing assault on democracy is for you, dear American reader, to contact your local Nefesh B’Nefesh representative and start the process of coming to the aid of your country. A million American Jews, secure in their inalienable rights and well versed in two wondrous document—the Torah and the U.S. Constitution—could definitely change things over here.)

Shai Nitzan is a graduate of the B’nei Akiva Netiv Meir yeshiva in Jerusalem. But his National-religious education did not stop him from acting as an enemy of the Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria. In his role as the official in charge of “special assignments” at the AG office, he was the enforcer of the “orders of removal” policy: the government would pick a settlement activist and order him off the Judea and Samaria territory. This means he would not be able to be with his wife and children—ever. If you were horrified by the videos that were circulating a few months ago, of a settler being tased repeatedly by police at his home—without offering any resistance—that vile incident goes back to a Shai Nitzan enforcement.

His office specialized in picking the most vocal and articulate settlers for “removal” punishment. Essentially, these orders, like the other anti-democratic policy of “administrative detention,” punish a citizen not for what he or she have done, but for what a civil servant in the Ministry of the Judiciary, or an attorney working for the Occupation Administration thing he WILL do sometime in the future.

For years folks on the right were convinced that these freedom-crushing orders were the brainchild of the Jewish Dept. of the GSS, Israel’s internal police. They were mostly wrong, it turns out. It was Shai Nitzan.

MK Struk is absolutely correct in dubbing the nominee an enemy of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria, and we should expect the enhancement of the reign of terror the secular Ashkenazi Left perpetrates against the settlers. Indeed, if the Jewish Home faction in government and the right wing ministers don’t stand up on their hind legs and prevent this atrocity, it would be a sign of bad things to come.

Here’s a June, 2011 video following the arrest of Rav Lior and the son of Rav Ovadia Yosef, where then MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzale) declares that some day Shai Nitzan would be tried for his relentless persecution of Jewish Torah scholars and Judea and Samaria Jews in general.


Cabinet Appoints Scourge of Settlers as Deputy Attorney General

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

JERUSALEM, Israel, Sept. 9th–Israel’s cabinet approved today the appointment of Shai Nitzan to the position of Deputy Attorney General for Special Assignments.

Nationalist activists and politicians say that as Deputy State Prosecutor for eight years Nitzan had a left-wing, anti-settlement, anti-nationalist agenda.

Speaking with reporters after the decision, Minister of Science Hershkowitz (Jewish Home) criticized the appointment, saying that trust has to be restored to the legal system and “this appointment does not restore trust.”

Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat (Likud), however said that Minister of Justice Ya’akov Ne’eman told the cabinet that Nitzan would not deal with settlement-related matters.

Such issues, which were under the jurisdiction of Mike Blass who is retiring, would now fall under the jurisdiction of Dina Zilber, whose appointment as Blass’s replacement was approved in the same meeting.

The Bukay Affair And Israel’s Prosecutorial Double Standard

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

An outrageous assault by Israeli authorities against academic freedom of speech took place in recent days in what is becoming known as the Bukay Affair. The affair combines leftist undermining of democracy, the attempt at thought control by governmental officials and the police, harassment of a university lecturer by an over-zealous prosecutor, and an attempt to create in Israel a political Inquisition against incorrect thinking.
 
The saga revolves around Dr. David Bukay, a lecturer in Middle East Studies at the University of Haifa, with expertise in Arab history. Bukay speaks Arabic better than I speak English. He has conservative points of view and is very outspoken about them. His articles are carried by numerous journals.
 
About five years ago Bukay was the victim of a smear campaign at the University of Haifa. At the time, an Arab student who was active in the university branch of the communist party sat in on one of Bukay’s lectures without being registered in the class. The student then ran to the Arabic press in Israel and claimed that in his lecture Bukay had repeatedly made derogatory comments about Arabs. The student claimed Bukay had said in class that all Arabs should be shot.
 
It turned out the story was planted and spread by an Israeli leftist who later issued a retraction and an apology to Bukay, admitting the entire story had been a tissue of lies. But the retraction did not help. Anti-Semitic websites, including some run by neo-Nazis, still carry the story of Bukay’s alleged racist statements against Arabs.
 
Once the story began to spread, it became evident that none of the other students in the classroom had heard Bukay make any of the racist statements he was alleged to have made. Many of these students claimed the Arab student had fabricated the entire story. Hundreds of Bukay’s students backed Bukay. Many wrote the Haifa University chiefs to give their side of the story.
 
In any case, because of the uproar, the rector at the University of Haifa, himself no right-winger (he was a founder of Peace Now), appointed a committee of investigation to look into the charges against Bukay. The committee found the charges were lies.
 
But in response to the media uproar, the Israel state deputy prosecutor, Shai Nitzan, decided to open a criminal investigation against Bukay for the “crime” of “incitement.” That is the catch-all anti-democratic nonsense charge that was used in a wholesale manner after the Rabin assassination to persecute, intimidate and indict numerous rabbis, public figures, and protesters.
 
Nitzan evidently believes that left-wing lawyers should be able to dictate the content of university lectures and the police should indict those who say things Nitzan considers to be incorrect.
 
For about four years the story was nearly forgotten. Until last week.
 
What changed? The same Shai Nitzan, still the deputy director of the Israel Prosecutor’s Office, ordered Bukay to come to the Haifa police precinct as part of the renewal of the earlier investigation into alleged criminally incorrect thinking and speaking by Bukay in his classroom.
 
At the Haifa police precinct, Bukay was ordered to sign a written confession that he had made anti-Arab statements in the classroom. He was ordered by police operating under Nitzan’s instructions to sign an apology for those statements, under threat of being prosecuted for “incitement” and “racism” if he did not do so. And he was ordered to promise in writing to refrain from ever again making such statements in his classroom.
 
Bukay refused to sign.
 
Maariv deputy editor Ben-Dror Yemini wrote in response to this that interrogating and prosecuting lecturers for what they say in the classroom is without precedent in Israel or any democracy. He reminded readers that Israel is filled with far left anti-Israel and anti-Semitic academics who routinely use the classroom to support terrorism against Jews, to call for Israel’s annihilation, to denounce Israel as a Nazi-like apartheid regime, and to urge law breaking.
 
Not a single one of the latter has ever been interrogated, let along prosecuted. Yet here we have the spectacle of a naked political persecution of someone accused of having made politically incorrect statements in his classroom – a claim he denies.
 
Now as it turns out, even if Bukay had made the anti-Arab statements he was falsely accused of having made, they still should have been protected speech – as are outbursts that are made in scores of Israeli university classrooms on a daily basis by Israel’s tenured radicals. Since when is it the job of the police to arrest and prosecute people who make offensive or incorrect statements?
 
            But, alas, Israel has a long history of selective protection of freedom of speech. Countless Israeli right-wingers have been indicted and prosecuted for “racism,” “sedition,” and “incitement” – while Jewish leftists and Arab radicals never have been, even when cheering on terrorism and demanding that Israel be annihilated.
 
The courts have repeatedly endorsed anti-speech prosecution and litigation directed against non-leftists while protecting and defending the most outrageous hate speech of leftist traitors. In one infamous court case, an Israeli sitting judge ruled that leftist sedition is protected speech while criticism of leftist sedition is libel.
 

One thing is certain. Israeli democracy is under attack by Shai Nitzan, and Israeli freedom of speech and academic freedom will not be safe until he has been summarily dismissed from his position.

 

 

Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-bukay-affair-and-israels-prosecutorial-double-standard/2009/12/16/

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