For the third weekend in a row Tel Aviv had thousands of protesters out on the street. Initially the protests were allegedly against the proposed judicial reforms, but many Israelis believe that the real protest is against a right-wing government. PLO flags can be seen amongst the protesters. Anti-Zionist slogans are abundant.
Just last Wednesday, Justice Minister Yariv Levin announced sweeping changes that would reverse the power grab by Aharon Barak that was engineered over the last 30 years. Barak’s grab gave the Supreme and High Courts power over the Executive and Legislative branches of the Israeli government. The Courts appoint themselves, the Attorney General and the legal advisors to the ministries. The justices can overrule all the elected officials using standards they set and are accountable to no one for the consequences of their decisions.
Melanie Phillips explains: “The courts control the appointment of not only their justices but also the attorneys who must appear before them—who therefore lack the independence essential in a democratic system—and even place a legal adviser in every ministerial office, with the power to veto any government policies to which the adviser objects.
These powers, which are unprecedented in any other modern democracy, are anti-democratic because they give unelected judges the power to strike down laws and policies enacted by those elected by the public to govern them. The judges can then impose their preferred policies.”
We pray that the type of reforms Minister Levin put forth are adopted with all due alacrity. We believe that all branches of Israel’s government as well as the general populace will benefit as democracy is restored. Overruling the Knesset’s decision to appoint Aryeh Deri as a minister and the specter of the Attorney general considering declaring the Prime Minister unfit to hold office are two glaring examples of judicial egregious overreach.
Yesh Atid leader, Yair Lapid agrees that reform is necessary. He would like to have a presidential committee decide how to best reform the system, even though there is a system and committee in place in the government to make such decisions.