A verbal confrontation broke out on Monday between Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Danny Danon (Likud) and Opposition Head Tzipi Livni (Kadima).
Danon attended a Kadima gathering, initiated by MK Yoel Hasson, which was entitled “Saving Democracy.”
During the gathering, Kadima’s members discussed the latest legislation passed by the Knesset, including the changes in the way judges are appointed to the Supreme Court and the amendment to the libel law which was passed on Monday and which would raise the compensation for libel without having to prove that damage was caused.
The legislation has been attacked by the left, which is claiming that the legislation is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Israel has no constitution, however, and those in favor of the bills claim that the appointed members of the Supreme Court, such as Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, follow Aharon Barak’s principles for its operation. This fact, they say, has usurped the role of the duly elected legislature and ministries by deciding legislative issues in the courts.
Kadima has been front and center in attacking these bills, and Danon told its members that “Kadima is trying to castrate the Likud and prevent it from promoting the values for which it was elected.”
In response, Livni told Danon, “I say to you personally, go back to the original values of the Likud,” to which Danon replied, “You ran away from the Likud and now you’re preaching to me about the values of the Likud?”
Danon later told Arutz Sheva, “The opposition may think we are a second-class government that is allowed us to introduce laws which only deal with certain issues. When we touch on what really matters, they hate it and claim it is a violation of democracy. Democracy is a two-way street and the right is also allowed to introduce legislation.”
“When the leader of the opposition heard what I told her party members she was not satisfied and came to lecture me on the values of the Likud,” he added. “Livni has gone left, both physically and ideologically, so she thinks she can preach to us what is right and what is wrong.”
“We promote the values for which we were elected,” Danon emphasized. “We weren’t elected so that we sit quietly or please Tzipi Livni, but to promote laws and create checks and balances and that’s what we do - serve the democracy and the will of the voters who chose us.”
He added, “It’s funny to see people on the left standing up and screaming about democracy being violated. When they decided on expelling Jews from their homes or about the Oslo Accords, they did not scream those screams. They had a majority and it was democratic and now when we are the majority, all of a sudden it is not democracy.”
Last week, MK Aryeh Eldad of the National Union party also criticized Israel’s left-wing parties and accused them of trying to rule the country despite the fact that the left is now a minority.
“The left is trying to rule Israel even though they lost the elections,” Eldad told Arutz Sheva. “They’re trying to keep ruling through the media, through the Supreme Court, and through the financial system, even though they are a small minority in Israel.”
“We’re not impressed by the shouting coming from the left,” Eldad promised. “We’ll do what is best for the people of Israel.”