Religious education is to blame for the Israeli public’s lack of trust in the court system, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni accused Tuesday. “There is a struggle over the authority here,” she said, speaking at a legal conference, “Is the source the law or constitution, and the interpreter, the court, or is the source halacha [Jewish law] and the interpreter the rabbi?”
“The school year has started,” she continued. “Forty percent of students will learn that the rabbi is the authority. They will also be taught to hate the [secular] courts. They will listen to Rabbi Ovadia [Yosef] who says that judges are ‘wicked’… and that turning to the court makes a person wicked,” she said, apparently referring to all religious schools regardless of outlook.
Livni noted that part of the cause of mistrust lies with the court system itself, saying, “I cannot defend the fact that cases sit for 10 years with no ruling.”