Israeli Ministers: High Court Risks Crisis if It Tries to Oust Bibi

Aug 3, 2023 2:29 pm | Virtual Jerusalem

The High Court of Justice in Israel is risking a legal crisis as it hears petitions challenging the Incapacitation Law, an amendment to the Basic Laws designed to prevent the disqualification of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The law, passed in March, grants immunity to Netanyahu from conflict of interest claims related to the government’s planned judicial overhaul.

Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu of Otzma Yehudit has stated that if the High Court strikes down the Incapacitation Law, the government will not respect the ruling, accusing the court of breaking the law and disregarding the sovereignty of the people. Other government ministers echoed these sentiments, with Minister Orit Struck warning that rejecting the law would push the court into a dangerous path.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid responded on Twitter, declaring that a minister who refuses to accept a High Court ruling cannot continue to serve, and a government that disobeys the law and the court would be considered illegal.

The Incapacitation Law requires a three-quarter super-majority in the Knesset to declare a prime minister unfit due to mental or physical health issues, effectively shielding Netanyahu from potential removal. The law was tailored to protect Netanyahu from the conflict of interest agreement he signed in 2020.

The High Court’s decision on this matter carries significant implications for Israel’s democratic framework and political stability. The hearing today may also set the stage for the court’s ruling in September on the Law to Cancel the Reasonableness Clause, which could redefine the court’s authority in relation to Basic Laws.


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