'Only 20% of Israelis want to weaken the Supreme Court'

A newly released poll finds that most Israelis are opposed to the notion that the Knesset should pass laws to weaken Israel's Supreme Court.

INCOMING SUPREME COURT President Esther Hayut (lower-left) poses yesterday with President Reuven Rivlin (photo credit: MARK NEYMAN / GPO)
INCOMING SUPREME COURT President Esther Hayut (lower-left) poses yesterday with President Reuven Rivlin
(photo credit: MARK NEYMAN / GPO)
Only a fifth of the public thinks the Knesset should pass laws to weaken the Supreme Court, a Channel 2 News poll released on Saturday night found.
A plurality of 42% said the Knesset should leave the judiciary as it is.
Another 20% said the courts should be weakened, and 28% said they should be strengthened, while 10% don’t know.
A spate of bills regulating to the legislative-judiciary balance is expected to be debated in the Knesset in the coming months.
The majority of citizens identified with President Reuven Rivlin’s speech to the Knesset last week, in which he said politicians are weakening political institutions.
According to the poll, 31% agree very much, and 28% agree somewhat with the head of state’s address. Another 13% each somewhat disagreed or disagreed very much.
On the Right, only 13% fully agreed with Rivlin, while 40% of centrists and 68% of people who identified as left-wing completely agreed with the president.
His fiery speech at the opening session of the legislature’s winter session was full of thinly veiled accusations leveled at the current government, which many in the Likud said was inappropriately political for a president, who is supposed to be neutral.
“We are witness today to winds of a second revolution,” Rivlin said. “This time, it’s the rule of the majority as the exclusive ruler... Instead of a reality in which everything can be judged, a reality is growing in which everything is political.
The media is political, democratic institutions are political – all of them, from the civil service to the state comptroller – the Supreme Court is political, security forces are political, even our IDF is political.”
The president said he has seen “a continued effort to weaken the gatekeepers of Israeli democracy.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech, in which he mocked his opponents in politics and the media as sour or bitter, was less popular than the president’s.
Nearly half (46%) said they had a negative opinion of Netanyahu’s address, while 22% had a positive opinion and 32% did not know.
The poll was taken on Wednesday and Thursday among 519 people, comprising a representative sample of the adult Israeli population.