(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin slammed the Supreme Court on Tuesday and warned it from interfering in the legislative process. Levin was speaking at the special plenum discussion marking the 68th anniversary of the Knesset, in presence of the Supreme Court President Miriam Naor.
“In recent years, we are witnessing a growing trend of harming the status of the Knesset by the judiciary branch that deepens its involvement in topics that are under the exclusive authority of the Knesset,” said Levin. “There is no other example in the world of this situation, in which the court is granting itself – without any proper legal regulation – the authority to strike down laws that passed the parliament.”
Levin then referred to the petitions that were filed in the Supreme Court in order to annul the recently passed settlements law.
“It is about time that the Knesset would stand tall and say it out in a clear voice – no more. We should tell the court to lay its hands off the legislation process.”
Levin added: “In a democratic country, the legislation is being done in the parliament by the representatives of the people and not in court.”
Levin’s remarks caused uproar among opposition MKs who said they reflect his will to crush the power of the Supreme Court and turn Israel to what they call a “democtatorship.”
“One thing we can say about Levin is that he is consistent in trying to harm the status of the court,” said MK Ayelet Nachmias-Verbin. “He is turning a legislation reform to a corrupt tool toward the Supreme Court. He is trying to be the D9 tractor driver that runs over the oppositions’ rights,” she said referring to the known saying by MK Moti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) that a D9 armored tractor should be sent to raze the Supreme Court.
Last Sunday it was reported that Yogev is initiating legislation to revoke the Supreme Court’s ability to annul laws.
Yogev suggested that Israel would adopt the British model, in which the Supreme Court has the authority to point out when a normal law contradicts a Basic Law, but ultimately allows the legislature to decide whether or not to annul the normal law.