top of page
  • irvsafdieh

Sabra Express | How Deri You

Carrie Keller-Lynn, Times of Israel, January 19th, 2023


Recap:

Israel’s High Court of Justice barred Shas MK Aryeh Deri from serving ministerial posts in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government because of his past criminal convictions.


The Context:

· Shas, a political party popular with ultra-Orthodox Jews, won 11 seats in the last election, making it the second-largest party in Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition. To secure Shas’ support, Netanyahu appointed Deri as head of two powerful ministries — health and interior [1]. In 1999, Deri was sentenced to three years in jail for taking bribes [2] and he was convicted in 2021 for tax fraud.

· The High Court knocked down Deri’s ministry appointments on two grounds, that it failed a “reasonableness” test, and that Deri had misled the courts into thinking he would retire from political life in exchange for a suspended prison sentence for his tax fraud conviction.

· Ministerial portfolios would normally transfer to the prime minister however Netanyahu cannot head a portfolio due to his ongoing criminal proceedings [3]. Alternative solutions to keep Deri in a position of influence include making him Knesset speaker and alternate prime minister.

· Deri promised to fight on, and Justice Minister Yariv Levin promised to “fully repair this glaring injustice done to Israeli democracy [4]." Coalition lawmakers have called for ignoring the court’s decision, saying it does not have the authority to disqualify Deri.

· This latest standoff comes shortly after the coalition laid out plans to significantly weaken the Supreme Court’s power over politicians and increase political influence over the selection of judges. Opposition leaders warned that the judicial overhaul would damage the democratic process, while the government argue it would strengthen it by giving greater power to parties representing a majority of voters [5]. The proposed overhaul prompted large protests across Israel.


Conversation Points:

· Will Deri’s legal trouble hamper or strengthen the government’s push to remake the judiciary?

· How will this ruling further divide the Cabinet and Israel's Supreme Court over government reform plans?

· Should politicians or the judiciary hold priority in a liberal democracy?


Notes:

1. Israel’s Judicial Standoff Deepens as Netanyahu Delays Firing Minister, Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, January 19th, 2023

2. Israel Supreme Court tells Netanyahu he must fire minister, Maayan Lubell, Reuters, January 19th, 2023

3. Attorney General in letter to Netanyahu: You must fire Deri, ELIAV BREUER, Jerusalem Post, JANUARY 19, 2023, 12:59

4. Israel Supreme Court tells Netanyahu he must fire minister, Maayan Lubell, Reuters, January 19th, 2023

5. Israel’s Judicial Standoff Deepens as Netanyahu Delays Firing Minister, Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, January 19th, 2023


3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Sabra Express | Reform, Repent, Repeat

Israel: Police and Anti-Judicial Reform Protesters Clash as Bill Advances Raffi Berg, BBC, July 12th, 2023 Recap: Protest leaders called for a Day of Resistance, blocking highways and converging on Be

Sabra Express | Dayenu

Israel Delays Controversial Judicial Reform Bill Kevin Shalvey, ABC News, March 27th 2023 Recap: Following another week of protests, Israel's judicial overhaul plan has been delayed until the Knesset’

Sabra Express | Judicial Jenga

Knesset Passes First Reading of Bill to Give Coalition Control Over Choosing Judges Carrie Keller-Lynn, Times of Israel, February 21st, 2023 Recap: The Knesset passed a first reading of a bill to over

Kommentare


bottom of page