(May 13, 2019 / Israel Hayom) A political firestorm erupted on Monday after the Israeli daily Israel Hayom published an internal memo showing that the incoming Israeli government plans to dramatically alter the relationship between the branches of government, at the expense of the judicial branch.
The memo outlines new measures that the Likud and United Right factions plan to pursue once a coalition is formed and a new government sworn in, aimed at bolstering the powers of the legislative and executive branches.
The measures, if passed, would allow Israel’s Knesset to overrule a High Court of Justice ruling in certain cases, and grant Knesset members automatic legal immunity. It would also make the government the only agency responsible for appointing senior judges and strip certain powers from the attorney general.
The memo, which lists 16 separate measures, has been part of the ongoing coalition talks between Likud and the United Right.
Meretz Party leader Tamar Zandberg slammed Likud over the memo, accusing it of conspiring with the United Right to break the law.
“If the attorney general doesn’t stop this, I will turn to the High Court of Justice myself,” she said.
Blue and White Party Knesset member Karin Elharrar joined Zandberg, saying, “This is not just some judicial reform plan, it is a plan to eliminate the High Court of Justice and get rid of our gatekeepers, ending the checks and balances and dealing a fatal blow to Israeli democracy.”
Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was a candidate on the United Right list during the recent Knesset election, dismissed the criticism.
“In a democracy, the people, not the government officials, decide,” he said.
This article first appeared on Israel Hayom.