A Palestinian protester throws a tire into a fire during clashes with Israeli security forces.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
In a rare rebuke of a political figure that is certain to reignite the debate in Israel over governmental separation of powers, Supreme Court President Miriam Naor on Sunday criticized Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan for proposing that judges who hand down lenient sentences to Palestinian stone-throwers be passed over for promotion on the bench.
Naor accused Erdan of encroaching on the independence of Israel's judicial branch while attempting to violate "the principle of a judge's personal independence, which is a central tenet of a democratic regime."
Channel 2 television reported on Saturday that the public security minister was readying a proposal whereby judges that do not sufficiently punish stone-throwing Palestinians would be denied promotion.
In response, Naor wrote that "if the executive branch believes that a punishment handed down by the court is too lenient, the appropriate manner in which to oppose it is to appeal."
"The plan attributed to Minister Erdan is more befitting of countries that we do not want to resemble, and not to our country as a Jewish and democratic state," she wrote.
According to Channel 2, Erdan plans to meet with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who also heads the Judicial Appointments Committee. The two will discuss what Erdan says are 30 verdicts from court cases that he believes represent the appropriate punitive threshold.