Brooklyn News Review

Hundreds of thousands expected at pro-judicial reform rally outside Supreme Court

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A massive pro-judicial reform rally is expected Thursday evening in front of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, demanding that the court not strike down the amendment enacted by the Knesset to a Basic Law.

The Supreme Court is supposed to hold a hearing next Wednesday on whether to strike down the amendment to the Basic Law: Judiciary which bars courts from using the reasonableness standard to strike down government appointments or decisions.

The change was approved 64-0 by the legislature in July after the entire Opposition walked out before the vote in protest.

The message of the ”Liberty Demonstration,” as it is being called by its organizers, is that the court “has no authority to nullify the people’s choice,” as the lawmakers were fulfilling the wishes of the public they democratically represent.

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana (Likud) said Wednesday that if the court sets this precedent of striking down a Basic Law, which has a quasi-Constitutional status, it will be “crossing a line” that would be “against the Knesset and Israeli democracy.”

“The Knesset will not submissively be crushed,” he said.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who is expected to address the demonstration, echoed the sentiment when he said in a statement Wednesday that “When the High Court voids Basic Laws, the High Court takes our liberty and our right to choose, and decides it is the legislator, instead of the Knesset.”

Such a move, he also said, “clearly means taking our ballots [from the election] and throwing them into the garbage.”

Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirzu, one of the rally organizers, explained that the word “democracy” means “the rule of the people,” and “the people chose a certain government, so only they have the right to bring it down…not 15 judges who consider themselves an enlightened clique.”

Acknowledging the unprecedented nature of the hearing, which could theoretically plunge the country into a constitutional crisis, the court will hear the case with its full complement of 15 justices for the first time in Israeli history.

“The task of the Supreme Court is not to replace the will of the people or rule on security or public issues,” said Shai Glick, head of Bezalmo, which is busing in thousands of supporters to the capital. “The Supreme Court’s intervention regarding the reasonableness standard or Basic Laws is not only a blow against elected officials, but also a crushing of the will of the majority of citizens, while taking authority without any legal basis [to do so].”

“We’re coming this evening to the Supreme Court to tell it something simple: We respect you very much; respect us as well. Don’t touch the will of the people,” he added.

Organizers expect hundreds of thousands to come deliver the message at 6 PM, just as they did at two other mass rallies a few months ago. The police have announced that the roads around the Supreme Court and the Knesset will be closed off starting some two hours earlier.

The post Hundreds of thousands expected at pro-judicial reform rally outside Supreme Court appeared first on The Jewish Voice.