Ayelet Shaked making her case in the Knesset..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked responded to a summons for a Knesset special session over her criticism of Supreme Court decisions by lashing out at the Left, and accusing left-wing figures of being more critical of the court.
Shaked denied a quote attributed to her by the Yediot Aharonot newspaper that “the Supreme Court is a branch of Meretz.” But she said quotes attributed to left-wing figures criticizing the court and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit were accurate, including statements by current and former Meretz MKs.
“MK Mossi Raz of Meretz said the Supreme Court was becoming a branch of the settlers’ council,” Shaked said on Monday. “Meretz MK Michal Rozin called the court a destructive ideological shofar. It’s not fair that [Bayit Yehudi MK] Moti Yogev’s statement about wanting a [Caterpillar tractor] D9 to crush the court is constantly recalled. Shame on you. You want a Supreme Court that is on its knees.”
Shaked called her summons to the Knesset “yet another attempt in the endless string of attempts by the Left to silence me,” and said she would continue to speak her mind.
“We on the Right won’t apologize that the public voted for us,” she said. “The independence of the Supreme Court is just as important to me as it is to you.”
Before Shaked’s address, Meretz, Yesh Atid and Zionist Union Party MKs competed in their attacks on the justice minister.
“Only the corrupt want the Supreme Court to be weak,” Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said. “What do you propose instead of the courts you detest so much? The prime minister constantly says this is a terrific country, and it is, but how can you say that and at the same time try to dismantle its institutions?”
Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich told Shaked: “You incite against the Supreme Court in cold blood.”
Meretz Party leader Tamar Zandberg said that after reading Shaked’s interview in the newspaper, she checked if the court or its justices were paying membership dues in the party and found out that they were not.
“Don’t you dare raise a hand against the Supreme Court, which maintains the principle that are people are born equal,” Zandberg said. “The Supreme Court is not a branch of Meretz, but we will defend it and be the Iron Dome for the rule of law.”
Zandberg lashed out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for appointing political allies to the Goldberg Committee, which advises on the ethical appropriateness of appointees to the most senior positions in public service.
“What are we – a third world country?” Zandberg asked. “A gang of people accused of corruption, led by a prime minister under a police recommendation of bribery charges,
think they can impact the choice of the next police chief? What is this? The mafia?"
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