Zionist Union calls to support Supreme Court as coalition explores limits

On Saturday night, Zionist Union plans for the demonstrators to “create a protective wall,” a human chain around the Supreme Court.

April 17, 2018 16:28
1 minute read.

The Supreme Court, Jerusalem. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Zionist Union plans to hold a rally in support of the Supreme Court Saturday night, in response to the coalition initiatives to limit the judiciary’s power.

“The High Court of Justice is not the enemy of the people,” Zionist Union Chairman Avi Gabbay said Tuesday. “The court protects the people from the ruthlessness and extremism of the ruler and the corruption of the current government.”

Gabbay called on Israelis from all over the country to come to the plaza in front of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem to “send the government a clear message: We won’t let you smash the Supreme Court and won’t allow your culture of government corruption win. Enough!”

Former justice minister MK Tzipi Livni of Zionist Union said, “we must…defend the Supreme Court, which is the last stronghold defending the citizens of the state and democracy in Israel.

“The government wants to circumvent the courts – we’ll circumvent the government,” Livni added.

Livni’s remark is a reference to the “circumvention provision” that the coalition is weighing, which would allow the Knesset to re-pass laws struck down by the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports the idea limiting the Supreme Court,  “to ensure the balance between the legislative and judiciary branches,” and has been exploring different options, including the circumvention provision or to ban the court outright from canceling laws.

He is expected to meet with Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and coalition parties will hold a meeting on the subject on Sunday, after two this week ended without any decisions made.

Attorney-General Avihai Mandelblit said he could support a circumvention provision if it requires a supermajority both for the court to nullify laws and for the Knesset to legislate them again. Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett said his party won’t support a bill requiring a supermajority from the Knesset.

On Saturday night, Zionist Union plans for the demonstrators to “create a protective wall,” a human chain around the Supreme Court.

The party also plans to hire buses around the country to bring people to the rally.

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