President Shimon Peres said Sunday that former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion understood the importance of separating the branches of government.
"David Ben-Gurion was a banner for separation of powers- politicians should not judge and the judiciary should not be involved in politics," he said at a ceremony in Sde Boker for the 38th anniversary of the passing of Israel's first prime minister.
Peres also warned that Israel must be careful to avoid isolation within the international community. "Ben-Gurion knew that if we don't defend ourselves, nobody will. That said, we must seek out friends that will help us," he said.
The composition and purview of the Supreme Court, as well as the process of appointing Supreme Court judges, has in recent weeks been the focus of intense national debate. Some argue that proposed legislation related to the courts is ideologically motivated and meant to curb its independence; while others, who believe the court has a left-wing bias, argue that these measures are designed to bring it closer to the country’s mainstream.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.