Minister Shaked says she changed the judicial system’s mindset

Ayelet Shaked compared the justice system’s false assumptions to the famous ‘konceptzia’ — or ‘the concept’ — a strategic worldview which led Israel’s military to being caught off-guard during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

By World Israel News Staff

Wrapping up her term as justice minister, Ayelet Shaked compared the justice system’s false assumptions when she entered office to the famous ‘konceptzia’ — or ‘the concept’ — a strategic worldview which led Israel’s military to ignore important intelligence prior to the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

“As a country that experienced the physical ramifications of preconceptions like the konceptzia, one would expect Israeli society to internalize the importance of the pluralism of ideas,” Shaked said Tuesday at a swearing-in ceremony for new judges at the presidential residence.

“We would expect preconceptions to be a thing of the past in the State of Israel,” she said. “Regrettably, it seems that we have not yet freed ourselves of the phenomenon.”

Shaked criticized the judicial activism of former Israeli High Court President Aharon Barak, who served from 1995-2006, saying that Barak had turned Israel’s high court into “a super-government.”

Israel’s High Court has become famous for entering all areas of life, a fact which Shaked referred to in her speech, and which can be traced back to Barak’s tenure. The high court has even been ridiculed for its interference in the most mundane matters, having ruled on everything from military haircuts to the subsidizing of private monkey farms.

Tensions between Israel’s high court, and many in the Netanyahu administration, who view the court as embracing a left-wing worldview, have been ongoing.

Nonprofit groups have been pushing for judicial reform in the form of an ‘override law,’ which would enable the government to reverse high court rulings that strike down democratically passed laws, something the court has been doing with increasing frequency.

Shaked is credited with making some important reforms in the way judges are selected, but the institutional problems still remain, these groups say.

“The few voices that dared question were pilloried as possessing an agenda and their entrance into the hall [of justice] was blocked,” Shaked said. “In the world of the Israeli justice system, there is no room for a dissenting opinion… Nothing may disturb the ‘konceptzia.’”

Shaked said that she had been elected to implement an agenda of “breaking preconceptions,” and that one of her goals at the beginning of her term was to “empower the conservative alternative in Israel.”

“In the course of the current term, we selected some 330 judges and registrars, six of them to the supreme court,” she said.

“The Israeli judicial system in now more varied, more representative and more balanced. I’m proud to say that there is room now for a different view, and it waves proudly from the mast. We have broken the ‘konceptzia.'”