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Israel appoints first female Attorney General

Attorney Gali Baharav-Miara was unanimously approved by the Cabinet.

By Erin Viner

Baharav-Miara becomes the top legal advisor to the government in place of Avichai Mandelblit, whose term officially ended last week.

Israeli Attorneys General are permitted to serve a single, 6-year term in office; entrusted to protect public interest as head of the nation’s prosecutorial system.

Baharav-Miara, 62, was one of three candidates submitted for consideration by a public committee chaired by former Supreme Court President Asher Grunis convened at the request of Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar.

She previously served at State Attorney’s Office (three decades), Tel Aviv Civil District Attorney (2007-2015) and as a member of several public committees including an advisory forum on administrative court law and another on civil procedure.

“This is one of the most important and sensitive appointments in the public service, and at this time, given the erosion of public confidence in law enforcement, there is an important opportunity here to maintain what needs to be maintained and to correct what needs to be corrected,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the Cabinet ahead of the selection process, according to a statement from his media advisor obtained by TV7.

“We need a good, strong and serious establishment that the public will trust,” he stressed, adding, “Moreover, the basic role of the Attorney General is to assist the government in implementing its policy in the framework of the confines of the law. The government is here to govern, to function, to work for the benefit of the citizens of the state and to take the country forward.”

Both the Israeli Premier and Justice Minister recommended that the Cabinet choose Gali Baharav-Miara.

She is the “best, most skilled, and most experienced” of the candidates, said Minister Sa’ar, with “a high level of professionalism and legal knowledge, management abilities, integrity, pressure-resistant capability, a good familiarity with the Justice Ministry and other government ministries, as well as the ability to enact change.”

“She represented Israel in 60% of all civil and administrative procedures conducted in the country,” during her tenure at the Tel Aviv Civil Attorney’s office, noted the Israeli Justice Minister, the extent of which he described as “immense.” He also urged “priority” be given her candidacy because she “comes from outside the system,” thus enabling the government to “start afresh with a clean slate.”

Underscoring that “for the first time, the State of Israel will – with G-d’s help” have a female Attorney General, Prime Minister Bennett underscored that, “Our government sees all citizens of Israel, women and men, as being able to achieve anything.