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Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at the Kohelet conference in Jerusalem on October 9, 2018

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at the Kohelet conference in Jerusalem on October 9, 2018.
(photo credit: courtesy)

For weeks, the news teased a major scandal in the judicial system, but few people, outside political circles and the media, knew how shocking it would be: sexual favors in exchange for a judicial power.

The president of the Bar Association, Efi Nave, one of the main suspects in this case, is a powerful figure. He leads an organization of more than 59,000 members that influences legislation in the Knesset and sits on the Judges Selection Committee.

He is also very close to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and his "Judicial Revolution," who have been instrumental in incorporating more conservative figures into the Department of Justice and the courts.

Until now, Shaked has not been directly involved in the scandal in any way, nor does anything indicate that she knew what was happening before the start of the year. # 39; investigation. And the President of the Supreme Court, Esther Hayut, showed her confidence in Shaked by issuing a joint statement. One of the arguments they have made is that the Judicial Selection Committee appointed 334 judges in the last term. This new scandal concerns a judge and another judicial hope. They also claimed that there were two deputies, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, three judges and two Bar representatives on the committee, in addition to Shaked, appearing to assert that a rotten egg did not spoil everything. the box.

Yet politicians from left to right have called for Shaked's resignation. Right-wing politicians, however, have been mostly silent.

This is a quite surprising reaction. Shaked is a very polarizing figure, as are the policies she promotes. Her Conservative program is clear and she defends it well and puts it into effect effectively. So it is not surprising that the left does not really appreciate it and is one of the most popular politicians on the right.

And a careful reading of many reactions from the left shows that they are highly politicized, as politicians do. They do not just ask Shaked to resign, they claim that the very notion of a conservative justice minister acting according to his beliefs and promises to the public is not legitimate.

Labor MP Merav Michaeli, for example, tweeted a video clip of Shaked claiming that she became friends with Nave: "We have an identical worldview, a similar conservative worldview, which is very helpful to Selection Committee of Judges. "

Hatnuah's leader, Tzipi Livni, said that "instead of a constitutional revolution, we got agreements that turned into an indecent act," said Shaked and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to "destroy" the judicial system.

The political damage caused to Shaked by this kind of arguments will probably be minimal. The right, for the most part, does not want judicial activism; she does not think that she has destroyed the judiciary, even if one of her partners has engaged in highly unsavory behavior.

Which brings us to a different argument, that of Shaked's judgment. Should not she have known that Nave, with whom she worked so closely, that she was calling a friend, was such a shady person?

"Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are, Minister Shaked," said Meretz President Tamar Zandberg. "All the filth that you have introduced into the judicial system is floating on the surface now, and it stinks."

The counter-argument here, of course, is that Shaked did not choose Naveh. The Bar Association has elected her and she must try to get votes from her side in the Judges Selection Committee. But no one forced her to brag about him as her close ally.

The right to experience this type of guilt by association with the submarine business. Netanyahu's personal lawyers and his cousins, David Shimron and Yitzhak Molcho, were involved in the ongoing investigation into whether there was corruption in the purchase of submarines in Germany. Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit said that Netanyahu was not a suspect and would not be questioned. Yesh Atid's leader, Yair Lapid, however, quite often claims that Netanyahu should have known what was going on and should be questioned.

Unless there is new evidence in the case, it seems that the left will have a new impasse for Shaked and that the right-wing members who have supported it and whose policy will probably not change much.

But not everyone falls into one of these categories. The Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, and her partner in the formation of the new right, have a relatively clear image and hope to attract center voters who have been dissuaded from voting Likud because of allegations of corruption of Netanyahu.

The intersection of sex, judges and politics is too shocking to resist, so expect this survey to remain in the news cycle over the next few months. That could hurt Shaked and the new right with the elastic voters if she can not really stand out from the scandal.

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