Israel Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who is a kippah-wearing religious man, has reportedly thanked God for Benjamin Netanyahu’s removal from power following the most recent national election. Given that Netanyahu was democratically-elected and remains the preferred prime minister of a plurality of Israelis, the attorney general’s remarks were seen by many as problematic.
Channel 12 News reported the Mandelblit recently said in a private conversation that Netanyahu had been trying to rewire Israel’s judicial system to make it loyal to him and protect him from criminal prosecution. While Mandelblit refrained from employing such terminology, he was essentially accusing Netanyahu of inching Israel toward dictatorship.
“We suddenly found ourselves in a fight for the legitimacy of the attorney general’s office, for the DNA of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in modern times,” charged the attorney general. “We got out of it, really, by the grace of God. I truly believe that… I don’t know how it would have ended.”
Channel 12 did not provide a recording of the conversation or reveal the source of the quotes, but the story was quickly picked up by the rest of the Israeli press.
Netanyahu remains on trial in a number of cases related to corruption and breach of trust. He maintains, however, that the charges against him are part of a long-running conspiracy by the police, the judicial system and the mainstream media.