Coalition unanimously backs bill to override Supreme Court, bring Deri back as minister

All 64 coalition MKs sign on to Shas bill barring Supreme Court from striking down ministry appointments, allowing Aryeh Deri to return to the government.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s coalition government has unanimously endorsed legislation aimed at bringing former Interior Minister and Health Minister MK Aryeh Deri (Shas) back into the government, after the Supreme Court struck down his appointment as minister earlier this month.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Deri from the government “with a heavy heart,” days after the Supreme Court ruled 10 to 1 that Deri’s appointment violated the reasonableness standard and was thus invalid.

The court cited Deri’s multiple corruption convictions, ruling that it was unreasonable for the government to appoint someone with a criminal history as a government minister.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara backed the court’s ruling, instructing Netanyahu to fire Deri should the minister make good on his pledge not to resign.

The ultra-Orthodox Shas party vociferously protested the ruling and put pressure on the Netanyahu government to override the decision.

On Monday, Shas MK Moshe Arbel submitted a bill that would enable the government to bring Deri back as a minister. If passed into law, the bill would explicitly exclude government appointments from judicial review.

“There will not be judicial review by any level of court about any matter connected to, or resulting from, the appointing a minister and removing him from his position, save for the appointment meeting the conditions of eligibility set out in section 6a and 6c alone,” the bill’s explanatory notes read in part.

Read  'Unnecessary' law banning unleavened bread on Passover passes first reading, Supreme Court blamed

While the new law would allow appointments to be struck down on grounds of moral turpitude, the coalition amended the law governing moral turpitude prior to Deri’s appointment.

On Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post reported, a source in the Shas party said that all 64 of the coalition government’s MKs had signed onto the bill, effectively guaranteeing its passage in the 120-member Knesset.

Once passed, the government is expected to reappoint Deri as Interior and Health Minister.