Senior religious Zionist rabbis appear to argue that the government and the coalition will not be obliged to obey a potential High Court of Justice ruling against them in several upcoming high-profile cases that may herald a constitutional showdown between the branches of government.
A written statement on behalf of 14 rabbis, representing the more hardline flank of the religious Zionist community, is published days ahead of crucial hearings on petitions against the government — against the reasonableness law, which is the first bill of the judicial overhaul package that has passed, and against Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s refusal to convene the Judicial Selection Committee in its current form.
“The only authority in the state is the majority, as reflected in elections, the Knesset and the government,” they write, the Ynet news site reports. “There is no other state authority above them.”
The rabbis also note the need to take account of the minority, and urge “the entire public in the state to behave responsibly and try to reach agreement that enables every person to run their lives without any coercion and in accordance with the values of the nation of Israel over the generations.”
The rabbis — some of them affiliated with the far-right Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit coalition parties — include Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern, Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, and prominent rabbis Dov Lior, Elyakim Levanon, Yaakov Shapira and Zalman Melamed.