Edelstein: My conscience will not let me fulfill court order

Outgoing Knesset Speaker refuses to carry out Supreme Court order to convene vote on his successor after announcing his resignation.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yuli Edelstein
Yuli Edelstein
Flash 90

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who announced his resignation on Wednesday, wrote to the Supreme Court that he does not intend to follow the ruling that requires him to convene the Knesset plenum to elect a new Knesset Speaker.

"My conscience does not allow me to uphold this decision. As a result, I have announced my resignation. It will take effect within 48 hours and then anyone who is appointed will be able to make whatever decision he deems appropriate," Edelstein wrote.

The outgoing Knesset Speaker added: "I hope the Honorable Court will at the very least respect my judgment this time."

Earlier, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced that Edelstein's resignation would not affect the obligation to carry out the court's order to hold elections for the next Knesset Speaker by today.

"The notice of resignation also does not allow the avoidance of the verdict," Mandelblit stated.

Knesset legal advisor Eyal Yinon has stated that the position of interim Knesset Speaker should be filled by veteran MK and Labor party leader Amir Peretz.

Yinon made it clear to the Supreme Court that Edelstein would not allow the vote to take place. "According to the Knesset's Articles of Association, the resignation of the Speaker of the Knesset takes effect after 48 hours. Accordingly, the Knesset legal advisor told the Knesset Speaker that his resignation at this time does not affect the obligation to comply with the Honorable Court Order."

"The Speaker of the Knesset announced to the Knesset legal advisor that he does not intend to raise the issue of electing a permanent Speaker for the Knesset on the agenda of the Knesset plenum today," Yinon wrote.

Edelstein, a refusenik who was imprisoned in the Soviet Union's Gulag for over three years for requesting to immigrate to Israel, slammed the Supreme Court in his resignation announcement. "The Supreme Court of Justice decided that the Knesset Speaker must hold a vote this week to choose a new Knesset Speaker. The Supreme Court's decision is not based on how the law is worded, but according to a one-sided and extremist interpretation."

"The Supreme Court's decision contradicts the Knesset protocol. The Supreme Court's decision destroys the Knesset's work. The Supreme Court's decision is a gross and audacious interference on the part of the judicial authority in the affairs of the elected legislative authority. The Supreme Court's decision harms, in an unprecedented fashion, the sovereignty of the nation and the sovereignty of the Knesset. The Supreme Court's decision undermines the basis of Israeli democracy."