“The court is leading us into anarchy. It’s acting like it owns the state,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
Tourism Minister and Likud MK Yariv Levin slammed the Supreme Court’s recent decision forcing Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to hold a vote on potentially choosing his replacement by Wednesday afternoon.
“The court is leading us into anarchy. It’s acting like it owns the state,” Levin told Kan News on Tuesday.
“Five judges chosen in a cronyish way without any oversight behind closed doors and off the beaten path are sitting and thinking they can be managers over everything,” he said.
Levin also took special aim at Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut by saying she should only stick to ruling on things over which she has authority.
“With all due respect to Chief Justice [Esther] Hayut, she needs to involve herself in what the court has authority over. She has no authority over how the Knesset is managed,” Levin said.
“The court cannot manage the Knesset and replace the Knesset Speaker. Unfortunately, the one who is leading us to this [anarchy] is the court,” he added.
MK Gideon Sa’ar echoed Levin’s sentiment on Tuesday by telling Kan News, “The High Court cannot come in place of the Knesset. Unfortunately, the court is leading us to anarchy.”
MK Ayelet Shaked of the Yemina party, a right-wing satellite party, said the Supreme Court does not understand the political process.
“A week in the Knesset is very little time,” Shaked told Army Radio this morning. “Stalling is legitimate in the political game. The Supreme Court did not have to intervene.”
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn anyone who doesn’t adhere to the ruling.
“The cynical attempt to condition coalition talks on harming our democracy won’t work,” Gantz said on Monday in the Knesset plenum.
On Monday, the Supreme Court gave Edelstein a Wednesday afternoon deadline to hold a vote to choose a new Knesset Speaker, as required by law. However, the justices did not say if there would be any consequences if Edelstein didn’t comply with the ruling.
The decision came after Edelstein stalled convening of the new Knesset last week.
Edelstein responded that if the Supreme Court intervened to potentially force him out of office, it would permanently severely damage the court’s reputation and the country’s faith in the judicial system.
Edelstein will in all likelihood lose his position if a vote is held, as Blue and White and its allies hold a majority of 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset.
Blue and White MK Ofer Shelah said he could not fathom that Edelstein would defy the court’s orders.
“I don’t want to even entertain the thought that the Knesset speaker will not respect the decision of the High Court,” Shelah told Army Radio earlier today.