A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
February 17, 2013-Lieberman Trial Begins More on The Ben Zygier Affair and Coalition Talks Remain Stalled
Today, the trial of former Foreign Minister Lieberman began. Given the accepted pace of trials here, opening arguments were heard today and the next session of the trial will take place at the end of April. It never ceases to amaze me that the judicial system here thinks it is alright to operate this way. Instead of adopting the American method, according to which once a trial begins it continues every day until it ends. I guess Israeli judges are true supermen and women, who are able to keep multiple trial testimonies in their heads-- even when these testimonies were heard weeks, or even months apart. Israeli judges are truly amazing super human beings. Oh, yeah, did I mention they also get to play not only judge, but jury as well?
In the meantime, (in what looks like another "triumph" of our judicial system), there have been more and more security analysts who are coming out and stating- flat out--that Ben Zygier was not traitor, and that most likely, he just talked to the wrong people at the wrong time. There is a growing sense that his treatment was really uncalled for. Interesting, that a former Supreme Court justice called for direct supervision in extreme cases like this- meaning it should be required for a Supreme Court justice to meet directly and privately with a prisoner such as Zygier. Judges should not need to depend on the testimony of security personnel, (or any third party) claiming a defendant wants his name kept secret. This information should be heard directly.
Prime Minister Netanyahu continues his unsuccessful attempts to break the bond between Lapid and Bennet. One of the leading Israeli political correspondents is calling it "a game of chicken" to see who will break first- Netanyahu giving up the Haredim, or Bennet jumping ship. Over the weekend, Likud members called the cooperation between Bennet and Lapid "voter fraud", since Bennet had said he wanted to be in a coalition with Netanyahu. I think the political correspondent has it wrong. There is no "game of chicken", since I do not believe that either Bennet or Lapid care if Netanyahu builds a coalition or not. If Netanyahu fails, and the country is forced into another new election, Lapid and Bennet will come out the strong ones.