Shaked to MKs: Stop Trying to ‘Control People’

YERUSHALAYIM -
The Knesset building in Yerushalayim (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
The Knesset building in Yerushalayim. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has made it harder for MKs to carry out their favorite pastime – creating new rules and regulations. At a meeting of the Knesset Law Committee, Shaked announced that she was imposing a new rule that would limit the issuance of laws by MKs that carry penalties. Such laws can only be issued if they include an official legal opinion on the constitutionality of the law and the penalty.

It’s part of Shaked’s mission to make the Israeli legal system more user-friendly. “Legislation in Israel has reached a dangerous level that could harm the freedom of citizens,” Shaked told MKs. Over the past decade, there have been over 12,000 proposed rules and regulations, 1,500 during her time as Justice Minister so far.

The new rules may save MKs much time to pursue other tasks. The large majority of the proposed laws were killed in committee, with the legal system preventing most of these proposals from moving forward. With that, however, the 18th Knesset that concluded last year passed 500 laws during its tenure. The third Knesset, by comparison, passed a total of 13 laws during its four-year tenure.

What many of the laws boil down to, said Shaked, is “a supposition that all the problems of the world can be solved by the state, by top-down commands and court rulings – but never by people, never by the free market. On the left, and unfortunately often on the right, there is this desire to constrict personal freedom of the citizenry, the backbone of the free market.

“This legislative deluge Israelis face has no comparison anywhere in the world,” said Shaked. “Very often MKs sign on as sponsors of bills, without even bothering to reading them over. It is a race to the bottom for these MKs to take credit for legislation. My advice to new MKs: There is no need to come out with a new law every week. We are swapping the healthy competition between businesses for unhealthy competition between Knesset members to see who can push around average citizens more. The free market is a direct victim of this, as the laws these MKs push prevent it from operating properly. Personal and business freedom is the oxygen for creativity and industriousness. Overregulation chokes this off.”