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Israeli justice minister vows to disobey Supreme Court if it rules against the Knesset’s judicial reform bill

Justice Minister Yariv Levin speaks during a discussion and a vote in the Knesset assembly hall in Jerusalem, Feb. 22, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin said he would disobey Israel’s Supreme Court if it rules against the government’s controversial judicial reform bill. 

If passed, the bill would allow the governing coalition to unilaterally appoint the first two justices per term to the Supreme Court without the approval of the judiciary or political opposition. 

Levin said Netanyahu's government intends to implement the bill’s policies according to the mandate it received from the public in the November election. 

“We legislated and implemented, without fear, the mandate that the public gave us,” said Levin. “This democratic resolution will be respected, and we will have a method for appointing judges that is fair, just and includes everyone.”

Earlier on Monday, Levin, who is the driving force behind the Netanyahu government’s judicial reforms, warned the Supreme Court against interfering in the government’s judicial-appointment bill. 

“In my opinion, it would mark the crossing of every red line. We certainly won’t accept it,” said Levin, of potential interference.

Critics argue that the judicial reform bill would undermine Israeli democracy by politicizing the country’s judiciary system. By contrast, Netanyahu's coalition argues that its judicial reforms are designed to strengthen Israel's democratic nature by giving more authority to elected officials. 

“Our goal is to diversify the judicial system, to balance it. The goal is absolutely not to take over and not try to politicize the judicial system. Most of these scare tactics are really completely baseless,” said Levin in an interview with Israel’s Channel 14 news. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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