Attorney general says government pursuing judicial overhaul by dragging feet on Haredi draft

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Israelis protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to overhaul the judicial system in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 23, 2023. (AP/Ariel Schalit)
File: Israelis protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to overhaul the judicial system in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 23, 2023. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

The Attorney General’s Office issues a sharply worded letter to the government, accusing it of seeking to undermine the standing of the attorney general in continuation of the judicial overhaul program, within the framework of its behavior over High Court petitions demanding ultra-Orthodox enlistment.

The government has sought private representation in the High Court instead of the attorney general since the latter opposes its position. The government is seeking to continue funding ultra-Orthodox yeshivas without enforcing military conscription on young Haredi men until it passes a new law allowing for ultra-Orthodox service exemptions.

The High Court barred the government at the end of March from continuing to fund Haredi yeshivas. The legal framework for deferring their military service expired on March 31.

In the letter sent by Deputy Attorney General Gil Limon to Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs, Limon argues that the government’s request for private representation is designed “to give a rubber stamp” to the IDF and other state agencies to act in accordance with the state’s position on yeshiva funding and Haredi enlistment in the period before a new law is legislated.

“This course of action is a continuation of the attempt, which is part of what was called the ‘legal reform,’ to weaken the status of the attorney general, bypass it, and harm its ability to protect the public interest and the rule of law,” Limon tells Fuchs.

Most Popular