MK Mickey Zohar (Likud) introduced in the Knesset a new Basic Law to limit the power of the Supreme Court to order the eviction of entire Jewish communities from their homes as was the case in Amona this week.
Under the bill, titled 'Basic Law: Standing,' lawsuits claiming developed land as privately owned could only be brought by the individual or individuals claiming ownership of the land, and not by a third party. Israel's Supreme Court, as opposed to the United States, allows anyone to bring a suit, whether he has standing with respect to the claim or not. Left wing NGOs have used this to claim Arab ownership of lands without any specific claim by a landowner.
The Basic Laws function as Israel's constitution.
The bill signed by MKs Moti Yogev and Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism), Akram Hasson (Kulanu), and Oded Forer (Yisrael Beyteinu).
The initiator of the bill, Likud Youth Chairman David Shain, said: "Over the past few days we have come to realize more than ever that the Supreme Court has to change. It cannot be that the Amona 'settlement' is evacuated and the Absentee Property outline which the government wants to promote consensus is rejected only on the basis of claims [by those with no standing] and without the Palestinians having proved ownership of the lands."
"In a democratic state with separation of powers - The Supreme Court does not have the authority to invalidate the plan for Israel's offshore gas resources or to annul the 'Infiltration Law' [that allowed expelling or imprisoning illegal infiltators from Eritrea and Sudan]. In fact, the bill is not only dealing with 'settlements,' it is wider in scope. For example, MKs will not be able to petition the Supreme Court regarding laws passed by the legislative process." he added.
The explanatory note to the bill stated: "In recent years we have witnessed an increase in the 'Locus Standi' (right of standing), which allows the right to appeal not only to the injured party or those related to the subject of the petition. The result is a proliferation of petitions submitted by organizations and individuals on political, diplomatic and economic matters, where the petitioner itself does not have anything to do with the subject of the petition or has not suffered personal injury for which he seeks relief... This situation allows interest groups to advance their political agendas by forcing the executive branch to act contrary to its priorities and the purposes for which it was elected, and to dictate the workings of the authorities by petitioning the Supreme Court, bypassing the will of the electorate."
Shain added: "The bill would amend the right to standing. It was initiated in the Likud Youth group to prevent future cases [like Amona] in the future. There are several examples of countries in the western world, such as the US, the UK, and even in the court of the EU, where only a petitioner who has direct and personal interest in the subject has standing. So this will not harm the Supreme Court, the rule of law or the rights of the citizens. But we want to correct the current absurd situation and strengthen the separation of powers in Israel."
MK Mickey Zohar said: "I welcome the cooperation with the Likud Youth, who initiated this important amendment. At a time when leftist organizations [who are not affected by the subject of the petitions] use every means to undermine the settlements, and when a settlement was destroyed without justification, we must stand as a bulwark to protect and prevent any future damage in Judea and Samaria. Our bill will make it difficult for leftist organizations to petition the Supreme Court on the one hand and make it more difficult for the Supreme Court to rule against the settlers on the other hand."