The head of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, one of the petitioners against the recusal law, charges the legislation is part of an effort to create a “golden cage” in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can violate a conflict of interest arrangement that prohibits him from dealing with judicial matters that could impact his graft trial.
“Every time there is a potential of forcing the prime minister to comply with the conflict of interest arrangement, this potential is neutralized,” Eliad Shraga tells the High Court of Justice.
He also criticizes a law barring the judiciary from scrutinizing the “reasonableness” of government decisions, which is similarly being challenged at the High Court.
“All the legislation was created for the purpose of making a golden cage, so the prime minister can advance the regime coup, in violation of the conflict of interest arrangement,” Shraga says, referring to the government’s judicial overhaul.
Chief Justice Esther Hayut notes to Shraga that Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara does not share the petitioners’ stance that breaching the conflict of interest arrangement could lead to Netanyahu’s removal from office. He says opponents of the law therefore filed several petitions against it.
“We are not complaining that you do not file petitions,” Hayut responds in an apparent gibe at the litigious Shraga, while urging him to “get on with it.”