Petitioners fete court ruling delaying recusal law

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Both the Movement for Quality Government in Israel and the Yisrael Beytenu party are praising the High Court of Justice’s ruling postponing the implementation of a law meant to shield Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from being ordered to recuse himself from office, which both had petitioned against last year.

“I welcome the fact that the court accepted the petition of Yisrael Beytenu and determined that the law will only apply from the next Knesset, thereby preventing absurd situations,” MK Oded Forer says in a statement declaring that “there will be enough time to argue about the legal quibbles” but that “for now we will continue to work together, shoulder to shoulder, in order to defeat our enemy from the north and the south.”

The court ruled that the law, an amendment to Basic Law: The Government, will take affect at the beginning of the next Knesset term after the next general elections are held, making sure the measure cannot be used for Netanyahu as designed.

“The court’s decision is an important victory for the Israeli public; Basic Laws are not putty in the hands of the prime minister, that he can change overnight,” the Movement for Quality Government in Israel says in a statement. “The prime minister, who is facing serious criminal proceedings in which he is accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three different cases, cannot create a golden cage for himself without any possibility of him being declared unfit for office if he were to intervene as prime minister in his own criminal affairs.”

“Netanyahu’s coalition dragged the State of Israel into an unprecedented constitutional crisis, partly due to personal considerations of the Prime Minister,” agrees Labor MK Gilad Kariv in a post on social platform X. “Faced with the coalition’s unprecedented measures that undermined basic democratic principles, the Supreme Court also required unprecedented rulings in order to protect democracy and moral purity.”

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