The hysteric accusations and bullhorn mainstream media coverage of late has served only to paint the false picture that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his new government intend to upend Israeli democracy and seize all power for itself.
On Sunday Netanyahu put those charges to rest when he openly abided by a controversial Supreme Court ruling.
Last week Israel’s Supreme Court determined that Shas party leader Aryeh Deri cannot serve as a Cabinet minister given his multiple convictions on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Some questioned whether or not the Supreme Court had the authority to make such a ruling, given that in the past such matters were referred to the Central Elections Committee. Netanyahu too felt the judges’ interference was inappropriate, but obeyed by firing Deri from as Minister of Health and Minister of the Interior.
Netanyahu promised to find a “legal way” for Deri to continue serving the State of Israel.
Who’s upending democracy?
While Netanyahu demonstrated that he is not leading a revolution against Israel’s established system of government or its judicial branch, some cried foul over reports that the Attorney General was mulling a decision that would force Bibi to step down as prime minister.
According to a report leaked to the Hebrew press, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara feels it is inappropriate for Netanyahu to sit as prime minister of a government implementing judicial reform when he himself is under criminal indictment. The report suggested Baharav-Miara could force Netanyahu to take a leave of absence.
“This is a gun to the head, throwing a threat into the air,” complained Likud lawmaker Danny Danon. “In my eyes it is an indecent and unacceptable threat that should be off the table.”
One of the many judicial reforms the Netanyahu government wants to implement is stripping the Attorney General of overriding judicial power, and instead making the position an advisory role.
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