66% of Israelis agree that Israel’s High Court of Justice should be able to strike down laws that are contrary to the nation’s Basic Laws, a survey carried out by IDI’s Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research found.
Furthermore, the survey found that 63% agree that the current system requiring concurrence between MKs and justices for judicial appointments is appropriate.
On the issue of the court’s ability to strike down laws enacted by the Knesset, rounded, the total of 66% of respondents who agreed that the court should have this ability was comprised of 87% of opposition voters and 44% of coalition voters.
Israelis split over judicial reform bills
A total of 63% of survey respondents agree with the current system requiring agreement between justices and politicians for judicial appointments, a number which includes 39% of coalition voters and 85% of opposition voters.
Additionally, there is no clear majority support or opposition to the proposal that, when the High Court strikes down a law enacted by the Knesset on the grounds that it contravenes Basic Laws, the Knesset should be able to override the court with a majority of 61 Knesset members.
Only about a quarter of respondents support the proposal as is - 47% of coalition voters and 7% of opposition voters. However, a further 23% of total respondents, 29% of the coalition, and 17% of opposition voters support the proposal if it were to increase the majority required to override the judicial decision.
A total of 45% of respondents, 15% of the coalition, and 71% of opposition voters, opposed the proposal outright.
Furthermore, just over half of respondents feel as though the proposed reforms will harm the Israeli economy. Just over a third responded that they would not.
Israelis concerned over judicial overhaul aftermath
The survey pointed out to respondents that if the judicial reforms are approved, the coalition will be able to advance particular ideologies through the implementation of policies with reduced ability on behalf of the court to intervene. It then asked respondents to rate on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being “not at all worried” and 5 being “extremely worried,” how concerned they were with a change for the worse on several issues.
The distribution of responses was heavily concentrated on the extremes, both “1” and “5” on every issue presented.
The surveyed opposition voters had tendencies to respond that they were extremely concerned about issues including gender equality, LGBTQ rights and Arab-Israeli rights.
The surveyed coalition voters, while also having a couple of extreme concerns, such as potential damage to their savings, tended towards total unconcern on all the presented issues.
It is important to note the survey reflects the vast majority of Israelis are open to compromise. A total of 72% of Israelis, a majority among coalition and opposition voters, agree that there should be dialogue between the political camps in order to create a compromise in regard to the legislative proposals.
Additionally, a majority of both political camps agree that the Knesset should strive to implement a widely accepted constitution based upon the principles espoused in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.