Ministers, MKs, and activists angrily condemned the Israeli Supreme Court on Thursday after it froze a plan to deport thousands of illegal immigrants who entered Israel across the border with Egypt, just weeks before the program is slated to begin.
Science Minister Ofir Okunis (Likud) blasted the move, contending that the decision to freeze the deportations was "the zenith of the disconnect between the justices of the Supreme Court and the citizens of Israel".
"The High Court's intervention in the government's policy regarding the infiltrators violates the principle of the separation of powers," added Economy Minister Eli Cohen (Kulanu). "The residents of South Tel Aviv [come before] the residents of South Eritrea."
Matan Peleg, who heads the Im Tirtzu organization, said that the decision was just another example of the activist approach pioneered by former chief justice Aharon Barak in the 1990's.
"We see again see how the High Court places itself above the democratically elected representatives and acts as a council of sages ensuring that everyone is in line with its whims, just like in Iran," said Peleg.
"The Israeli government today has two choices. Curbing judicial activism in legislation, or adopting a cautious policy of disobeying the High Court of Justice, a move that has precedents even in the United States. It's time to put clear breaks on the extreme whims of the High Court," added Peleg.
Activist Sheffi Paz, whose South Tel Aviv neighborhood that has been terrorized by illegal African migrants, called the decision " a declaration of war", and urged followers to demonstrate in front of Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut's house on Saturday night.
"The High Court of Justice declared war on us," said Paz. "The games and excuses are over. On Saturday night we are all in front of Esther Hayut's house."