'Politicians leading campaign of incitement against court'

Supreme Court President Beinish says MKs, government ministers have been taking advantage of immunity to lead a "poisonous campaign of deception" against the justice system.

Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch 311 (photo credit: Dudi Vaknin / Pool)
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch 311
(photo credit: Dudi Vaknin / Pool)
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish spoke out against recent legislation that would affect the court, saying that for several years, politicians have conducted a campaign "aimed at weakening the judicial system, headed by the Supreme Court," during a speech to the annual conference of the The Israeli Association of Public Law held at the Dead Sea on Thursday.
In the past five years, Beinish said, there has been "a campaign of delegitimization, led by a number of politicians, members of Knesset and even government ministers who are taking advantage of their immunity and broadcasting to the public erroneous and deceptive information that has deteriorated into incitement directed at the court, against its judges and against its judicial workers."
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The "campaign of deception," she added, "in its nature, permeates and poisons. There is overt incitement against the court and its judges."
Beinish also specifically addressed one of the recently proposed laws aimed at the courts, which would require the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee to vet candidates to the Supreme Court. MKs supporting the legislation have pointed to similar hearings held for nominees to the United States Supreme Court.
The supreme court president asked if those same politicians "are also proposing to adopt the unchallengeable respect for the American Supreme Court's decisions?"
The composition and purview of the Supreme Court, as well as the process of appointing Supreme Court judges, has in recent weeks been the focus of intense national debate. Some argue that proposed legislation related to the courts is ideologically motivated and meant to curb its independence; while others, who believe the court has a left-wing bias, argue that these measures are designed to bring it closer to the country’s mainstream.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged to “protect the independence of the courts, which is a necessary condition to our existence here. This is no less important than security or economics,” speaking to a convention of state attorneys in Eilat Tuesday.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.