Hiddush reacts to Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s initiative regarding the Judiciary

Hypocrisy, Cynicism, and a Threat to Israeli Democracy

Hiddush reacts to Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s initiative regarding the Judiciary

Who does public trust?Who does public trust?

Hypocrisy, cynicism, and a threat to Israeli democracy. Under the pretense of "reinforcing the correct balance between the three branches of government", the Minister of Justice now seeks to eliminate the independence and authority of the judiciary, in particular that of the Supreme Court, as well as the legal advisors in the government ministries that have served as gatekeepers upholding the rule of law. This is not a balance between the three branches, but rather a move designed to gain/or: assume control over all three authorities in one hand – the hand of the Prime Minister and his emissaries!

What is cynically described as "improving governance" is actually an attempt to castrate the gatekeepers and the judicial review of the Supreme Court, in order to justify every despicable act by Smotrich, Ben Gvir, Levin and likeminded associates. The intent of this initiative is to bring Israel closer to the model of a Torah State that freely discriminates for the benefit of the ultra-Orthodox and Zionist ultra-Orthodox, contrary to the wishes of a vast majority of the public - including voters of the Likud party themselves. The Supreme Court serves as the sole protective wall in the fight for individual freedoms, human dignity, equality and democratic values, in an era in which politicians have lost all shame and all boundaries have been trampled on.

Levin criticizes the Supreme Court, and falsely presents his initiative as one designed to restore the public’s trust in it. However, the truth is completely to the contrary. In a comparison of the public’s trust in the Supreme Court and the trust in the government and the Knesset, the court has the upper hand, and by a large margin! While 34% of the adult Jewish public responded that they have high trust in the Supreme Court, only 10% expressed high trust in the government, and a mere 8% - in the Knesset! In other words, the Jewish public has three and a half times more confidence in the Supreme Court (even today, after all the malicious attacks by Levin and his colleagues against it) than in the government, and more than four times more trust in the Supreme court than in the Knesset!

It would behoove Minister Levin to focus first on restoring the public's trust in politicians before he targets the Supreme court.

 It would behoove Minister Levin to focus first on restoring the public's trust in politicians before he targets the Supreme court. Levin’s hostility and contempt towards the Supreme Court became well known when in the past he opposed to abide by its ruling and declared that if Supreme Court Justice Hayut wanted to enforce it on the Knesset – she should come with the Courts’ Guard Corps to do so!

This is one and the same Levin who was unashamed to open his remarks at the press conference yesterday and declare how close he felt to the late Prime-Minister Menachem Begin and to the principle that Begin expressed when he said that “There are judges in Jerusalem”. No doubt the late Begin turned over in his grave when Levin tainted his memory by comparing Levin’s own actions to castrate the court with the respect that Begin showed, even when he did not agree with them. Levin secured a tiny majority of hands in the Knesset, by aligning with the sectarian interests of the ultra-Orthodox and the Zionist ultra-Orthodox parties, who realize that without eliminating the independence of the court – it would prevent them from carrying out the unbridled concessions they extorted from the Likud, which are contrary to the wishes of its voters and a huge majority of the public.

These concessions included the full exemption of some 150,000 yeshiva students from military or national service, billions of shekels in allocations for educational institutions that refuse to teach core curriculum studies, exclusion of women, and more.

However, despite Levin’s rhetoric , those that are loyal to the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the identity of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state will not buy the malodorous goods that the Minister of Justice is trying to market, and will fight both within Israel and in the Jewish world against the plot to undermine Israeli democracy under the guise of "restoring trust" and "improving governance".

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