Protest leader says ‘the rule of law’ is not up for negotiation with the government
Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter
Eliad Shraga, head of the Movement for Quality Government (MQG), one of the leading protest movements against the coalition’s judicial overhaul program, says negotiations with the government for a compromise solution to the current political crisis can only begin if 10 uncompromising conditions are met.
Shraga’s conditions include the adoption of a constitution “in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence”; the passage of a bill of rights to ensure equality “in rights and obligations”; a clear separation of powers and formulation of checks and balances; an independent judicial selection committee that is not controlled by politicians; mechanisms to prevent someone on trial or convicted of serious crimes from serving in government; guarantees for the independence of the attorney general and government legal advisers; and no expansion of authorities for the rabbinical courts.
“This is the most important struggle in the history of the country. We will not conduct negotiations over the rule of law and the supremacy of the law,” says Shraga at an event outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.
Shraga, who presented his proposals and a draft constitution drawn up by MQG to President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday night, also dismisses several compromise proposals made recently which he says would undermine democracy in Israel.
Former Supreme Court justice Ayala Procaccia, who is also present at the event, insists that good-faith negotiations cannot be conducted while the government drives ahead with the legislative process for its radical judicial reforms, but says both sides need to be open to negotiations.
“We will never agree to live in a country that is not just, fair, and human,” says Procaccia.