Diaspora Minister Tzipi Hotovely is concerned that the Supreme Court may intervene in the coalition agreements between Blue and White and Likud or prevent Prime Minister Netanyahu from forming the next government.
"The Supreme Court should reject this petition outright because according to the constitutional tradition in the State of Israel, the Court [should] not interfere with coalition agreements and there is an explicit fundamental law that determines who is allowed to serve as prime minister," Hotovely said in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
She said the court has been overreaching its authority. "On the issue before the Court, [the Attorney General] has made it very clearly: The Prime Minister will serve out his term until his legal case is clarified and a final judgment made by the Court. This is far from where the Court has taken it. The very fact that the Supreme Court is convening an extensive forum and letting the public know that this case is worthy of discussion and will not be rejected outright, in of itself breaks the clear rules of the game between the political sphere and Supreme Court."
"We bear no illusions about the Supreme Court. We understand that it's exerted itself as a political entity over recent years as legal activism has become a major tool in case law. But in this case, the issue at hand holds even greater significance, as the majority of Israelis have gone to the voting booths on three separate occasions," said Hotovely.
The Likud minister says the Court is the one causing the greatest harm to Israeli democracy. "The State of Israel finds itself in one of its most challenging crises in the political, health and economic realms as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The [question of the] national emergency government needs to be viewed as the order of the hour. Unfortunately, instead of rejecting the petition outright, we're having a discussion about it."
"As someone worried about the Supreme Court breaking the rules of democracy, I'm afraid that if the it intervenes against the choice of the majority of Israeli citizens and cancels the de facto election results, we will reach a situation where Israeli democracy [is suppressed]," she continued.
"If the Supreme Court drags the State of Israel into another election, democracy will be trampled. Beyond the fact that this breaks any legal tradition, democratic elections will become insignificant. Supreme Court intervention to disqualify a candidate whom the majority of the Israeli public voted into office, a candidate supported by a vast majority within his own party, as well as a coalition agreement reached in blood, sweat, and tears that Israeli law clearly allows, as well as concessions we all made to reach this point will be canceled outright. This will make a laughing stock of the will of the people."
"The Supreme Court understands the significance of [such] a decision. Its intervention would break all the rules of the game," she stated.
On Yamina's refusal to join the coalition
Hotovely said she did not accept Yamina's claims that the Prime Minister had failed to address its demands in coalition negotiations. "There is a proposal on the table with the prime minister behind it: the education portfolio, the Jerusalem and Heritage Portfolio and the Deputy Minister responsible for the Settlement and National Service Division - this encompasses all areas that religious Zionism values most."
"I think that anyone who considers suh an offer as an insult does not understand the importance of education in Israel or does not value the price of unity amongst the people of Israel," said Hotovely.
She said that members of Yamina had to come to the realization that her party was making concessions. "After all, the biggest loser in this coalition agreement is the Likud. Those who will actually pay the price of unity are Likud ministers. Everyone knows we are giving in and many of us will not be ministers. We all wanted a narrow right-wing government to fulfill our dreams, but in the end reality sank in and we have to look it in the eyes. At this time, the right thing is for everyone to come in under the same roof. The education ministries and Jerusalem and Heritage are worthy portfolios that should make them very happy."
"Yamina doesn't realize that it received six seats making it the smallest party in the Knesset. It needs to gain some self-awareness. The prime minister wants it in the coalition. He offered them an honorable proposal. No senior Likud minister, including myself, would turn down the education portfolio."
''As a religious Zionist, I think it's one of the most important portfolios. This discourse [they are trying to impart] that everyone is against them is unnecessary. They have received a worthy proposal and should join the government. Value players are welcome in this government and there is no question at all that the prime minister is interested in Yamina," pointed out Hotovely.
"It should be noted that at no point has Yamina stated that it has an ideological issue with the government. This is not a dispute over sovereignty, but a question of ministerial appointments. It is puzzling to me that such a good proposal is not seriously considered and does not reach coalition negotiations like any party does at this time. Either they don't understand the significance of election results or they don't understand the significance of the situation," she concluded.