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High Court judge to government lawyer: ‘Democracy dies in a series of small steps’

High Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut (center) and justices Isaac Amit (right) and Uzi Vogelman at a court hearing on petitions against the government's reasonableness law at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, September 12, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
High Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut (center) and justices Isaac Amit (right) and Uzi Vogelman at a court hearing on petitions against the government's reasonableness law at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, September 12, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ilan Bombach, a privately hired lawyer representing the government in the High Court hearing on the reasonableness law, argues that the law doesn’t not erode Israel’s democratic character, as petitioners argue.

Justice Isaac Amit replies that historically, “democracy dies in a series of small steps” and points at the series of other judicial overhaul laws that have been declared or have started their legislative process.

At that point, Likud MK Tally Gotliv interrupts from the backbenches, shouting that “the Knesset sanctifies democracy and preserves it.”

Court President Esther Hayut admonishes Gotliv, noting that since the MK is a lawyer she should know that interjections from the sidelines aren’t allowed in court.

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