High Court petition tries to bar deputy minister to run Health Ministry

Former health minister MK Yael German and her party colleague MK Karin Elharar presented the suit through the party’s lawyers.

Supreme Court of Israel (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Supreme Court of Israel
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Yesh Atid party on Wednesday filed a suit in the High Court of Justice against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned nomination of United Torah Judaism (UTJ) MK Ya’acov Litzman as a deputy minister in charge of the Health Ministry.
Former health minister MK Yael German and her party colleague MK Karin Elharar presented the suit through the party’s lawyers.
The ultra-Orthodox MK was deputy health minister for four years before German took over in the last government. UTJ does not agree to take formal ministerial responsibility (for religious reasons) but has run numerous ministries as deputy ministers.
German, many of whose ministerial decisions Litzman has said he would undo, said she would be glad if the haredi MK agreed to become a fully fledged minister, because “it would be a major state achievement” to integrate haredim into the government.
Elharar argued that Litzman being of lower rank "harms the presentation of the Health Ministry’s burning issues. We won’t let the government move this situation backward [when a minister ran the ministry under the previous government],"she argued. In a High Court ruling on the same issue in 2009, the justices warned that the institution of a deputy minister to a minister’s position was invalid, but they did not prevent Litzman from holding the job. Yesh Atid hopes that the court will reconsider this time.