Ministers Threaten Legislative Override of Supreme Court (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/07/12)
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Ministers in the Netanyahu government on Monday said the Supreme
Court´s decision to reject the State´s appeal for more time to find a
way to normalize the status of Beit El´s threatened Ulpana
neighborhood would force them to pursue "a legislative solution."
Minister of Education Gideon Sa´ar (Likud) said, "The High Court
decision on the Ulpana neighborhood is simply unfair. We must
consider the possibility of legislation to prevent the demolition of
Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat (Likud) said, "Given the
Court´s decision in this case, as well as in Migron, it seems
inevitable legislation is the only way we can normalize the status of
communities that have - for many years - existed with permission and
assistance from the state."
Minister of Transportation Israel Katz (Likud) said the High Court
had reached "a wrong decision and overrode the public will. We can´t
stand for it. The Israeli government must act quickly and legislate a
solution that will prevent the destruction of these homes."
Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Jewish Home) said he had begun
coordinating with the other coalition factions to postpone dissolving
the Knesset in order to enact legislation to normalize the Ulpana
He said the Supreme Court should not be allowed to usurp the Cabinet
and dictate the government´s political agenda, "We must reject the
[immediate] dissolution of the Knesset and pass legislation that will
legalize the Ulpana neighborhood."
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom (Likud) said, “We cannot dissolve the
Knesset without making arrangements for such a law" to save the
“The Likud, which flies the flag of settlement, cannot leave behind a
legacy of destroyed homes and evicted residents,” he added.
Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein (Likud), also
sharply rebuked the court, "These are normal families paying a
mortages on houses built with the assistance of the Ministry of
"As we warned more than once," Edelstein said, “If we are not allowed
to negotiate a solution, then we will legislate one. I want to meet
the hero who will dare to turn the Dicksteins, who lost family
members on a bloody terror attack, out of their home."
Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a government request
for an additional 90 days in which to find a way to legalize five
homes slated for destruction after it was found that the seller of
the land on which they were built was not its real owner - and the
real owner wanted it back.
It took the government a year to file its request to give it time to
find a solution. The courts were outraged that their decision was
left hanging for a year and that the government then decided to ask
for it to be changed.
The issue has also dredged up an ongoing controversy about the
Supreme Court´s exercise of judicial review to nullify laws – and in
this case, government policies – it deems “unconstitutional” in the
absence of a formal Israeli constitution.
Sixteen years ago the Israeli Supreme Court decided in the Mizrahi
case that Israel´s "Basic Laws" amount to Israel´s formal
Constitution and it enjoys the power of judicial review
However, in the absence of a clear separation of powers between
branches of government in Israel´s Basic Laws – including those of
the court itself – the extent of that power, and whether it is
exercised prudently, remains deeply connected to the personality of
the sitting justices.
Critics say that judicial review – as it has been wielded to date –
has raised disturbing and difficult questions about the sovereign
will of Israel’s voters when government policies concerning
diplomatic, political, and security issues are overridden.
Should the ministers succeed in delaying the dissolution of the
Knesset and passing legislation to normalize the Ulpana neighborhood,
Prime Minister Netanyahu could be faced with an [informal]
constitutional crisis. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/07/12)
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