Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel SmotrichKobi Richter/TPS

National Union chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich on Monday evening attended a conference of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel and aroused the wrath of the public after calling for the elimination of corruption in the judiciary.

"When you talk about government corruption today, you mean the corruption of the elected officials in the legislative and executive branches, but you forget that there is another governmental authority - the judiciary - and there is also corruption there that needs to be eradicated," said Smotrich.

He listed a series of failures and double standards in the courts, the Supreme Court, the State Comptroller's Office, the police, and other places.

"The critics of the legal system, including me, do not seek, heaven forbid, to harm it. All we are asking is to prevent governmental tyranny and the corruption that is usually associated with governmental tyranny," Smotrich explained. "As we know, corruption and double morality are a sign of governmental tyranny, and unfortunately these can be found in quite a few cases in the various arms of our legal system.”

"Consider the fact that the President of the Supreme Court, Justice Esther Hayut, transferred three cases of mediation to her friend, retired Judge Gerstel, in the first year she began to serve as mediator, as exposed by Maariv journalist Kalman Liebskind. These are huge sums of money (about 3,000 shekels per hour). Imagine how an indictment against a minister whose office bought pencils from a close friend would look."

"The way to deal with corruption is to return to the classical model of separation of powers," Smotrich stressed. "And that means challenging the unlimited power of the judicial system. It means enacting the override clause (allowing the Knesset to reinstate, by a special margin, laws dismissed by the court -ed.), it means limiting the use of reasonableness (a judicial term allowing the courts to interfere, for example, in appointments and administrative decisions made by ministries -ed.) against the decisions of elected officials.”

The chairman of the National Union promised, "We started this in the past Knesset term and will continue to do so vigorously in the next term as well. The left, which the old system played in its favor, will continue to shout and we will continue to act.”

Watch Smotrich’s remarks (in Hebrew):

סמוטריץ' בכנס שמאל: "הפסקנו לשתוק"