Likud minister: 'Time to remake Israel as a real democracy'

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin slams Israel's High Court after the Knesset approved legislation legalizing thousands of West Bank settler homes.

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February 7, 2017 13:24
1 minute read.
Yariv Levin

Yariv Levin. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) attacked Israel’s High Court on Tuesday saying that it is “time to remake Israel as a real democracy," as a Knesset bill which legalizes thousands of West Bank settler homes is expected to be challenged in court.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Levin disregarded Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s prior determination that the “Regulations Law” is illegal.

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“There is no constitution in Israel and because of that trying to say something is unconstitutional is something ridiculous,” Levin said on the sidelines of a tourism convention in Tel Aviv adding, “I think it is about time to understand that in Israel there is democracy and in democracy the parliament votes over bills that become law and not the High Court or other bodies or entities.”

“The Supreme Court has its job, but the responsibility of legislation should be done by the parliament that represents the Israeli population.”

Speaking to Army Radio Levin on Tuesday, Levin criticized the legitimacy of a “handful of judges who are self-selected behind closed doors.”

Meanwhile Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) are expected to file a petition with the High Court this week against the law on behalf at least 13 Palestinian local councils in the West Bank.

The Knesset bill passed late Monday night is being hailed by the Right for legalizing some 4,000 settler homes and attacked by the Left as the first step toward de facto annexation.

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Its passage by a vote of 60-52 marks the first time that the Knesset has sought to impose Israeli law in Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian rule. That territory is considered to be outside the Knesset’s purview and such an action could be viewed as an initial application of sovereignty.

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