You are destroying Israeli democracy! No, you are!
First there was the a demonstration to protest Bibi destroying our democracy. People set out in cars, allegedly one person per car, in order to obey the Coronavirus orders of the day protecting the public from contamination.
Along with his video of the demonstration, Amir Shlomian wrote:
Whoever was not there – their loss. Festival of sanity and love. In these days of disaster – togetherness and love. I really hope it will be enough. But the criminals will ignore the Supreme Court and if they continue to ignore the majority, we will return. And then – you come too. We will all benefit.
I heard complaints that nine demonstrators were arrested. But when I see the crowd on the lawn in the video above, I support the arrests. Where was the promise that the demonstration would be carried out following social distancing orders? And I heard indignant complaints about cars on their way to Jerusalem being stopped on Kvish 6 even though they drove in single file on the shoulder of the highway, not blocking traffic. But when you see the demonstration on the lawn in Jerusalem, you can see why the police did not want more cars arriving there. After all, these are Corona Days and everyone should be keeping their distance from everyone else.
Now, let us put aside the pandemic for a moment and look at their complaints. They accuse Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein of protecting Bibi by not agreeing to hold a session to vote in his replacement. They are saying that this is just another ploy for Bibi to hold onto power as long as possible. The Supreme Court has ordered him to conduct the session and move on, respecting the 62 who voted to replace Bibi and the Likud. And Edelstein is not giving in.
So they say that Bibi and Edelstein are destroying our democracy.
There is only one problem with this. It is inconsistent with the Knesset laws. The law states that at the beginning of the session in which the new government is being sworn in a new speaker will be elected by the Knesset.
And yet, there is no new government ready to be sworn in. Gantz, who has been tasked with forming a new government by President Rivlin, has so far been unable to do so.
Those who argue that by delaying the vote for a new speaker, the voice of the majority who voted to replace Netanyahu as prime minister is being ignored. Supposedly 62 seats in favour of replacing Bibi. But that majority includes the anti-Zionist Joint List Gantz promised not to use for support either within his government or without. It also includes 3 MKs who said they do not agree with using the Joint List for support. In other words, even with the Joint List, Gantz no longer has a majority. Yet they still claim to have the upper moral hand and accuse those who agree with Edelstein as being pro-dictatorship and anti-democratic.
On the other side, there are those who claim that the Supreme Court is attempting to run the Knesset while it clearly does not have a mandate to do so.
So another protest took place today, this time coordinated by Im Tirzu, a rightwing NGO. Here is the press release they sent out:
A massive convoy set out today in protest over the High Court of Justice’s demand that Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein convene the Knesset by Wednesday [tomorrow].
According to the protestors, the High Court crossed a red line by unlawfully interfering in the Knesset’s agenda and by giving an order in direct contravention to the Basic Law of the Knesset.
The convoy, comprised of more than 100 Israeli flag-clad cars led by the Zionist watchdog Im Tirtzu, set out from the Latrun Interchange and ended at the High Court in Jerusalem.
Due to the current health crisis, the organizers stated that the protest was coordinated with the police and adhered to the Health Ministry regulations.
“We’re sick and tired of the High Court stealing our democracy,” said Avner Saadia, one of the protestors. “We are sick of voting for our elected officials, and finding out that the High Court is really the one in charge.”
Nechama Miller, another protestor, added: “The High Court is trampling on basic democratic values like the separation of powers.”
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg, stated: “The High Court justices have turned themselves into all-powerful rulers who can act however and whenever they please.”
“Time after time, the High Court acts as a political actor with utter disregard for Israeli democracy, which endangers the future of the State of Israel. The time has come to end this judicial dictatorship.”
So who is the dictator in your opinion? Bibi? Gantz? The Supreme Court?
This is not the first time that there is tension between the Knesset and the Supreme Court and it is not the first time the alarm has been sounded, announcing a serious problem with a politicized Supreme Court ruling on issues that should be the purview of the Knesset.
Feature Image Credit: Udi Tenne via Im Tirzu
[…] What if everything we saw yesterday evening was a grand opera in which almost everyone was playing a part in a script they put together for all our sakes? For the sake of our democracy? […]