While anti-judicial reform protests continued on Thursday, so too did the pro-overhaul camp's campaign against judicial review of basic laws, with a rally outside High Court of Justice President Esther Hayut's home in Tel Aviv.
The protests were part of the "banana republic" protests organized by Im Tirzu. The NGO said that the protests will be weekly affairs, echoing the anti-reform protests held every Saturday night.
"The conduct of the High Court justice in general, and of the President of the High Court in particular, in recent years have weakened Israeli democracy to such an extent that they have practically turned it into a banana republic," said Im Tirzu director Matan Peleg.
Peleg said that the current situation saw Israel with "an elitist regime run by judges, generals and capitalists instead by the people. This is unacceptable, and we will not agree to live under the rule of the tyranny of the minority. Judges have no priority in deciding on distinctly political questions and they have no authority to shape legislation. This decision should and should only be made in the parliament."
Im Tirzu and other right-leaning NGOs staged a protest at Hayut's home last Thursday, in which they brought crates of bananas to protest the "banana republic" powers of the court. On Wednesday, activists wore t-shirts and caps that declared them the High Court's republican guard.
Hearings set for incapacitation law
The High Court is set to hear petitions against two basic law amendments in September. On September 12, an expanded bench of 15 justices will hear arguments for striking down the reasonableness standard law, the only judicial reform legislation to pass into law. The law restricted the ability of the court to engage in judicial review of ministerial and government administrative decisions deemed extremely unreasonable.
Another hearing on the incapacitation law is set for September 28, and though the Attorney-General sanctioned the striking of the law, after an August 3 hearing the court has indicated that it will only delay its application.The attorney-general argued that the law, which clarified that a prime minister could only be declared unfit for service on medical grounds, was designed to improve Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's legal position regarding his corruption trial conflict of interest agreement. A ruling to have the law only come into effect next election would render null concerns about immediate personal benefit to Netanyahu.
The High Court has never before struck down a basic law amendment, and it is hotly contested if it has the ability to do so.