Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich the other day lamented the fact that Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara became involved in his ministry’s plan to largely eliminate Israel’s Standards Institute, which adds needless red tape to the approval process of imported goods, and adhere instead to US and EU standards. According to Smotrich, the AG approved dropping the local standards process for imported appliances, but not for medicine, because “it’s too dangerous.”
“I’m an attorney, and have never known the possibility of danger to be illegal,” Smotrich said, noting that risk management is what the government is supposed to do, not the judicial apparatus. And, naturally, adding this extra red tape makes the medicine in question more expensive and forces Israeli patients to wait longer to receive it.
Nevertheless, the AG not only blocked his plan but also banned him from submitting it to cabinet evaluation. Mind you, the government represents some 2.5 million voters, while Baharav-Miara is a civil servant appointed by the previous Justice Minister.