doctors protest against judicial reforms,
doctors protest against judicial reforms,צילום: Evgeny Reider

The leaders of the "White Coats" movement, an organization of doctors who are protesting against the government's planned judicial reforms, threatened to stop coming to their hospitals to work if the government does not comply with the Supreme Court's rulings on recently passed Basic Laws.

"We are facing a real possibility that the Prime Minister and his ministers will not obey the law and the ruling of the Supreme Court. This is a constitutional crisis. In the State of Israel, every person must obey the ruling of the court, since that is the only party that is authorized to determine the legal situation. No one is above the law," the protest leaders stated.

They added that "a government that does not obey the law and the Supreme Court violates the basic contract between itself and the citizens. Therefore, it is clear that if the Prime Minister and his ministers deliberately do not comply with the ruling of the Supreme Court, or give public servants instructions that contradict the ruling, then they are leading a criminal and dictatorial government that has lost its legitimacy and should not be obeyed. According to the statements of the Prime Minister and his ministers, they intend to break the law."

"We declare that in this situation of constitutional crisis, we will have to not report to work until the government returns to respecting the rulings of the Supreme Court. The responsibility for the disruptions in the health system will be placed entirely on the Prime Minister and his ministers who led to this. We call on the Medical Association and the Histadrut, and all citizens, and all entities and companies that obey the law, to declare in advance that in the event of a constitutional crisis, the economy will be shut down until the Prime Minister and his ministers return to obeying the law," the statement concluded.

The Supreme Court has issued an interim order preventing an amendment to a Basic Law which states that the Prime Minister cannot be removed from office for non-medical reasons from going into effect. This is an unprecedented ruling given that Basic Laws have quasi-constitutional status in Israel. Contrary to the protesting doctors' statement, the court has no legal basis for ruling to strike down or change a Basic Law.