A Giant Among Us

If you have not read today’s magnificent profile by TOI’s Raphael Ahren you are missing one of the finest piece of writing.

The author wrote of our Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s calm and composure under stress and accusations involved with his study of the case for indictment of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Mr. Ahren describes beautifully the fascinating life of the Attorney General. Born in Tel-Aviv as a secular Jew, he found his way to religious observances at the age of 26.  For 27 years he served in the IDF and eventually became the Military Advocate General with the rank of Major General.

That was his initiation into the muddy waters of politics which he has always tried to avoid. A father of six children and dedicated to his work, he found time to complete a doctoral degree in law.

He was twice appointed by Netanyahu to serve as Cabinet Secretary and then as Attorney General.  AG Mandelblit is passionate about his work. First and foremost is his professionalism and his dedication to the law.  In prosecuting guilty members of our military or government circles he has shown no partiality to persons, including those with whom his life has intertwined, as is the present difficult situation in indicting a sitting Prime Minister of three alleged crimes.

AG Mandelblit does not look at the person. He looks only to the law. And for him the law is the law irrespective of whom it must be applied.

Regarded as one of the most highly respected citizens of Israel he remains a very quiet soft-spoken gentleman, not seeking honors or glories for himself, only struggling to maintain the validity, the truth, of the law.

During the Netanyahu probes he has been threatened, accused and abused by members of Netanyahu’s Likud gang, inspired some say, by the Prime Minister himself who naturally denies it just as he denies the charges against him.

Netanyahu seethes with anger because he was denied the opportunity of confronting the witnesses against him in a public television broadcast. The Attorney General turned down the request informing the Prime Minister that he would be permitted to challenge the witnesses in open court.

Bibi and his Likud party members are bitterly angry with the Attorney General for stating that his verdict would be handed down, probably next month, in advance of the April 9th set date for national elections. They claim that by an indictment prior to elections voters could be influenced against Netanyahu.

The fact remains that in every poll taken in recent weeks Netanyahu is in the lead and will probably be re-elected for another term as Prime Minister, the longest serving one in Israel’s history.

Even if he should be indicted and found guilty, there is no law that would require him to resign his position. He is presently trying to introduce and pass an Israeli version of the “French law” which prohibits prosecution of the head of state.

The problem that he will face, if and when he is re-elected, is the possibility of the collapse of the coalition government. Candidates of other political parties have stated that they would refuse to serve in a government led by Bibi Netanyahu.  In such an event no one can predict the outcome.  Who will serve as the new head of state?

My solemn vote would be for Avichai Mandelblit,  a giant among us… a giant among decent men and women in our society,  an inspiration to the nation.

He is a man who upholds the letter of the law with dignity and with sheer professionalism.

To learn more about Attorney General Mandelblit, I commend Raphael Ahren’s Profile for your enlightened reading.

I guess it takes a giant to write about a giant. A literary giant and a legal giant. Courage and strength in the face of adversity. And the law will win.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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