'Supreme Court's behavior was scandalous'

MK Yogev says legislation should be revamped to protect separation of powers; criticizes court's conduct toward residents of Judea, Samaria.

Hezki Baruch, Mordechai Sones,

Motti Yogev
Motti Yogev
Hezki Baruch

MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home), a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, expressed satisfaction with President Reuven Rivlin's critique of the Supreme Court's conduct and the judicial revolution of the 1990s and 2000s which led to greater judicial activism.

"I was among those who noticed in the President's comments that also he criticized the justice system and even turned towards the court president, Justice Miriam Naor, and told her, 'You started a revolution that began with Justice Aharon Barak, that I said would cause destruction and not building'; he soundly criticized both sides and I therefore applauded him," Yogev said in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

Asked what the main thing that his party, the Jewish Home, would promote this winter session, Yogev answered that it was the separation of powers. "I was one of the first to bring this up with perhaps an inappropriate metaphor [when he suggested plowing over the High Court with a D-9 tractor]. I meant to say that the High Court is an important institution, but for decades the judicial revolution has penetrated into the Knesset's court in a deluge of legislative cancellations and annulment of the people's will.

"The court prevented the government and the Knesset from fulfilling the people's will. We must even out the powers and rebalance authority. In military parlance I say to the judicial authority 'stand down' and respect the other authorities. Do not nullify Knesset legislation. I'll promote a bill on the matter that the court not be able to annul Knesset laws."

The High Court rejected Nativ Ha'avot resident's request not to destroy their homes.

"Also this decision is scandalous to a certain degree. Supreme Court judges such as Mazuz have legalized many illegal Palestinian structures, and likewise houses of terrorists where they scrutinized every meter to determine whether it may be demolished and thus prevented terrorist homes' destruction more than once, but when Nativ Ha'avot residents sought a compromise of partial demolition, their request was rejected.

"There isn't a law that for Israel's enemies High Court judges are lenient and for pioneering settlers the High Court judges are strict. We're deliberating with Bennett, Shaked, and Liberman, and I hope we'll find a solution for the residents of Nativ Ha'avot.

"The Left won't succeed - neither the judicial branch nor the leftist judges within it - and unfortunately such do exist. High Court justice's opinions also carry negative consequences. We must affect a change there to represent the people more than the legal elite."

Is the Left in the Knesset sour in your opinion?

"The left in the Knesset is indeed sour... unfortunately this is an arduous phenomenon; this week we marked Absorption Day - and you see opposition speakers like Herzog and Svetlova criticizing the government without being on the committees. It's a sourness that doesn't reflect the facts. The people of Israel are happy and yes, there are many things to correct and move forward. One must look at the three quarters of the cup that are full, so to speak."

Do you think the coalition is stable?

"The coalition is stable, and its members see continuation of the government as an important and desirable thing - and I hope that the statements made about the French law will end in agreements."

As a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, should Israeli residents be concerned about the situation on the northern border?

"There is an upsurge in some new threats. Armies have broken up like the Syrian army and on the other hand Hezbollah has strengthened. Together with this, Iran is the spearhead of all terror in the region; it has chosen to sow terror all over the world - to establish arms in Syria and bring forces with tens of thousands of soldiers close to our border. This is a serious thing and we must take political action with Russia and the US and prepare militarily."