Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked slams the Supreme court, saying it places too much emphasis on individual rights, neglecting Zionism and the will of the Jewish Majority.
By Revital Hovel / Haaretz
August 29, 2017
[Ed. note: This is the first of a quartet of articles that appeared recently in Haaretz. We are posting them in succession and recommend that they be read in order.]
“Zionism should not continue, and I say here, it will not continue to bow down to the system of individual rights interpreted in a universal way that divorces them from history . . . disconnected from context, from our national tasks, from our identity, from our history, from our Zionist challenges.”
— Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked criticized the Supreme Court on Tuesday, claiming that the justice system gives insufficient consideration to Zionism and the country’s Jewish majority.
Speaking at a conference of the Israel Bar Association in Tel Aviv, Shaked said that Zionism and “national challenges have become a legal blind spot” that carry no decisive weight in comparison to questions of individual rights. She added that the court’s rulings do not consider the matter of demography and the Jewish majority “as values that should be taken into consideration.”
Shaked’s comments come the day after the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, ruled that asylum seekers may be deported to Rwanda and Uganda but may not be jailed for more than two months if they refuse to go.
“Zionism should not continue, and I say here, it will not continue to bow down to the system of individual rights interpreted in a universal way that divorces them from the history of the Knesset and the history of legislation that we all know,” Shaked told her audience, which included Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, Supreme Court President Miriam Naor, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan and Military Advocate General Sharon Afek.
Shaked’s speech was momentarily interrupted when some of the lawyers in the audience yelled that Israeli was an apartheid state.
The minister also said that the nation-state bill now being advanced by the government will be a “moral and political revolution.” The controversial bill holds that Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people” and that the right to realize self-determination in the state is unique to them.
Shaked said that the court’s rulings reflect an attitude according to which “the question of the Jewish majority isn’t relevant in any case.” With regard to the Supreme Court ruling, she added: “It isn’t relevant when we’re talking about infiltrators from Africa who have settled in south Tel Aviv and established a city within a city, pushing out the residents of the neighborhoods, and the response of the judicial system in Israel is to strike down again and again the law that seeks to deal with the matter.”
With regard to the Jewish majority, Shaked also mentioned increasing the Jewish population of the Galilee.
Shaked said she considered the system of individual rights important, but “not when it is disconnected from context, from our national tasks, from our identity, from our history, from our Zionist challenges.”
She added that “since the rights revolution, we have stopped seeing ourselves as a community.”