Retired Supreme Court President: The judges aren't leftists

Retired Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch says Supreme Court judges 'aren't leftists, they're professionals.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Dorit Beinisch
Dorit Beinisch
Flash 90

Retired Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch spoke on Channel 2's "Meet the Israeli Press" TV show on Saturday night about Elor Azariya's conviction and the public's reaction.

"I think several red lines were crossed," Beinisch said. "We have violated several frameworks which are essential to society's existence. I'm very worried.

"Our society is varied and pluralistic. There are different opinions and they're legitimate - but we've started to exaggerate. There are certain basic tenets of democratic society, but even the word 'democracy' has become a shameful word," she said. "The IDF and the courts need to stay independent.

"I have a feeling there will be attempts to undermine this basic idea. I've heard several horrific things this past week, and it's spreading like wildfire. We know what this means, and we need to protest it.

"The leadership is giving off nasty vibes. These people need to protect our country's systems, and they need to believe in the basic institutions of society, which do their jobs fearlessly. An independent court is the best way to ensure equality, because they do not take orders from the leaders and are not influenced by the public."

"We're mixing things up," Beinisch said. "It's true, those who were elected should be able to enforce their policies, but that's what the court is for, and the court does not get involved in policies. One of the worst things that has happened to us is that everything which is essential to basic values is now seen as leftist and inappropriate.

"The judges aren't leftists, they're professionals. They're disconnected from arguments and politics, and that's how they should be. G-d forbid that judges should feel they have to justify themselves and their decisions to the public of to the government," Beinisch concluded. Beinisch is considered a leftist herself and is a follower of former head of the Supreme Court Aharon Barak's policy of "everything is justiciable." Beinisch led the struggle to ban the Kach party from the Knesset and refused to ban Rabin's decision to expel 415 terrorists to Lebanon. She averred that all unclaimed non-government land in Judea and Samaria should be considered a priori Arab land.

The Israeli Supreme Court, most Israelis feel, regularly shapes the law to fit their political stance. Supreme Court justices are not vetted by the Knesset, but appointed by a committee which includes three presiding justices. When Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked attempted to change the requirements for incoming justices, Chief Justice Miriam Naor said Shaked had "placed a gun on the table."