Health Minister: Justice Rubinstein is 'audacious'

Haredi minister slams Supreme Court justice, says he's 'anti-religious' and 'distorted' Gur Rebbe's words.

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Hezki Baruch,

UTJ's MK Yaakov Litzman
UTJ's MK Yaakov Litzman
Flash 90

Health Minister Yakov Litzman (UTJ) attacked Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein for canceling the proposed legal extension exempting yeshiva students from drafting into the IDF.

"Justice Rubinstein is anti-religious," Litzman told Kol Barama Radio. "Because of him, I was forced to become a minister, even though Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held other portfolios, aside from the health portfolio."

"Rubinstein is audacious, and in his ruling he distorted the 'Beit Yisrael's' words."

The "Beit Yisrael" was one of the haredi Gur movement's greatest "rebbes" or spiritual leaders. He lived from 1895 to 1977.

Litzman previously served as Deputy Health Minister with ministerial powers but, following an appeal from Yesh Atid, the Supreme Court ruled that Litzman must be appointed as a full minister or be forced to vacate his post as Deputy Health Minister.

"It's time to make a law which will forbid the Supreme Court from canceling laws. I am sure we will have no difficulty passing such a law," Litzman added.

Litzman also said he was not surprised by the ruling.

"Justices Rubinstein and [Dorit] Beinish made this ruling at the end of their terms," he said. "It's like a 'hit and run' accident. They're afraid to do these things during their time as justices, but when they leave, they don't care what happens to those who come after them."

Regarding Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, who led the push to cancel the yeshiva students' exemption, Litzman said, "he acts however it's comfortable for him. He's a populist. Two months ago, Lapid still wore a blue kippa (skullcap) at the Kotel (Western Wall). There's no reason to pay attention to him or even speak to him."

On Monday, Litzman praised the Supreme Court for its decision not to allow transportation on Shabbat (Sabbath).