Cabel threatens to cut Labor ties with coalition over Friedmann bill

Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel threatened Wednesday to cut contacts with the coalition after the Knesset plenum passed in a preliminary reading a bill which would give Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann more power over the courts. The bill, which would authorize Friedmann to order the construction of a new district court and shift cases between courts, was approved by a majority of 66 MKs, while 16 opposed. Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch was opposed to the bill, which would increase Friedmann's influence over the courts at her expense. Cabel's threat, if realized, would mean that Labor MKs could vote in contradiction with coalition agreements at the Knesset plenum and committees. "Coalition means partnership, not forceful actions. Friedmann's bill contradicts the government's basic guidelines," Cabel said.