Justice Minister Yariv Levin on Wednesday accused the opposition of hypocrisy as it advances legislation that would impact the judicial system even as it demands the coalition refrain from doing so.
The Likud Party froze legal reform legislation in March to give the ongoing judicial reform talks at the President’s Residence a chance to bear fruit.
Turning to MK Gideon Sa’ar of the National Unity Party from the Knesset podium on Wednesday, Levin said, “Gideon, every second you’re coming out with statements such as, ‘If the coalition advances some law, we will withdraw from the talks.’
“What bullying is this? There’s no person in the country who doesn’t see the truth now, who is willing to be flexible, who stopped and didn’t advance legislation, and who behaves as if this were their own personal country. Only you are allowed to advance laws? Shame on you.”
Sa’ar replied, “You’ve been blowing up the talks from day one.”
Said Levin: “We have stopped being naive. We will fix the justice system. We are not impressed by the mafioso threats you make towards us.”
On Wednesday, MK Gilad Kariv of the Labor Party introduced a bill to anchor the principle of equality into the existing Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. The bill failed by a vote of 53 to 50.
At the same time, the Likud Party said it would pull a bill from the agenda aimed at removing the Israel Bar Association’s representatives from the Judicial Selection Committee. The bill notes that Bar members always vote with the Supreme Court justices on the committee, helping to give them a built-in majority.
The bill was introduced by Likud MK Hanoch Milwidsky.
Levin also referred to court actions during the 2005 disengagement from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip and four communities in northern Samaria, in which 8,000 Jews were evicted from their homes.
“The blood of the victims of terrorist attacks in Gush Katif cries out to us to this day, after the judicial system that you want to give more tools and unlimited powers to abandoned their blood,” Levin said.