Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor 311 (R).
(photo credit:David W Cerny / Reuters)
Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor vowed on Saturday night that he would quit his
cabinet post if bills were passed into law that would limit the power of the
High Court of Justice.
Speaking on Channel 2’s Meet the Press program,
Meridor singled out a bill that would require candidates to serve on the High
Court to face hearings in the Knesset Law Committee as well as Likud MK Danny
Danon’s bill to limit the ability of foreign governments to fund High Court
petitions filed by nongovernmental organizations.
rally in TA against 'undemocratic' bills Knesset
passes 1st readings of libel, judicial bills Knesset
set to vote for 2 controversial bills
Danon’s bill is set to
be voted on by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday.
of the reasons I returned to politics was to stop the attacks on the High Court
of Justice that started in the last [Knesset] term,” Meridor said.
has been a wave of attacks aimed at making Israel different – less liberal and
more nationalist. I think we’re fighting for the spirit of our country, for its
existence, our freedom, our liberty, freedom of expression, freedom to protest,
and for human dignity.”
Danon’s bill would “set Israel decades backward,”
“I returned to the government in order to stop such bills,”
“There is no doubt that I won’t be part of a
government that advances such bills, and I don’t think [this government]
Meridor noted that he had already left a Netanyahu-led government
when he quit his post as finance minister in June 1997. But he said he did not
expect to leave the current Netanyahu government any time soon.
that most of the controversial bills haven’t passed, because he and his allies
had stopped them.
“These bills won’t be stopped by themselves, so if
there’s a reason for me and my friends being in the government, it’s this
struggle,” he said.
“If I’m not there, there will be a surrender to the
bad spirit and everyone will be sorry,” he said of attacks on the
Meridor has faced criticism in recent weeks from doves in the
Knesset and media who have pressured him to resign.
“More and more,
Meridor is returning to his traditional role as Mitzi the Cat from the old
Hartzufim puppet show who whines but remains frozen in his place,” dovish Yediot
columnist Sima Kadmon wrote on Friday.
“People are wondering
what he is still doing there and whether he returned to politics for
The Prime Minister’s Office released statements on Saturday night
noting that Binyamin Netanyahu would oppose Danon’s bill and any legislation
that could harm the court.
Netanyahu’s office said he opposed the bill
that would have required hearings for High Court candidates, despite impressions
that he supported it, since he did not speak about it during the recent shiva
mourning period for his father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi.
to Meridor by saying that he was free to leave the Likud if he didn’t support
“We won’t turn the Likud into a branch of Kadima,” Danon
“Whoever doesn’t accept the majority position in the Likud should
reach a conclusion about his place in politics.”
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin