Netanyahu tells ministers: We will support 'Override Clause'

PM explains at Likud ministers' meeting that he sought to postpone vote on clause to gain backing from all coalition factions.

Uzi Baruch ,

'We wanted support of entire coalition.' Netanyahu
'We wanted support of entire coalition.' Netanyahu
Yonatan Zindel, Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explained Sunday during the meeting of Likud ministers his request to postpone the vote on the Override Clause in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, but made clear that he would not object to a vote happening today.

"The right way to pass the Override Clause is by recruiting all the components of the coalition," Netanyahu said. "We wanted to postpone by a week in order to reach agreement and bring the law with the support of the entire coalition."

Yediot Aharonot reported this morning that Likud ministers who are members of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation are expected to vote in favor of the “Override Clause” promoted by Minister Bennett, despite the Prime Minister's request to postpone the vote by another week.

The clause would alter Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, explicitly empowering the Knesset to overrule the Supreme Court and reenact laws nullified by the Court.

The paper quoted Science Minister Ofir Akunis, who is a member of the committee, who said that "the Override Clause is the order of the hour. Judicial activism has blurred the principle of separation of powers in Israel over the past 20 years, and even more intensively over the past decade."

“The judiciary cancels out the Knesset, which is the sovereign, and the government. The need for the Override Clause is not in doubt if we want to preserve the basic principles of Israeli democracy. Not only is the Override Clause not a danger to democracy - on the contrary, it will only strengthen it. "

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to again postpone the vote on the Override Clause in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home, announced that the vote would not be postponed: "This Sunday we will bring the bill to a vote, and we expect the prime minister's support," Bennett said on Twitter.

The vote on the Override Clause seeks to limit the Supreme Court's ability to disqualify laws. The debate between coalition partners revolves around the number of MKs that will be able to reapprove a law that the Supreme Court has invalidated.

Bennett and Shaked are insisting on a regular majority of 61 MKs, and are unwilling to compromise. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut support a majority of 70 MKs to be able to reapprove laws disqualified by the Supreme Court.