The Minister of Justice and the Chief Justice of the High Court sparred on Thursday over how the national debate over the balance of power between the legislative and judiciary branches should be conducted.
Taking turns speaking at a conference of the Association for Public Justice’s conference, the two major players in the struggle disagreed about the proper mode of discourse.
Chief Justice Esther Hayut said that “dialogue between administrative authorities is essential in every democracy as long as every authority maintains a respectful attitude to its counterparts.
“Is the dialogue in Israel like this? Regrettably, the way in which some public appointees, ministers and Knesset members speak [about the court] is far from being respectful and proper.”
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told the conference that “the judges are not the Sons of Light and the legislators are not the Sons of Darkness.”
She said the “democracy is running away from the nation” and that this stems from a “deep and primal fear of the people and the distancing of the elite part of society from reality,” a reference to the judges, who have often been criticized for elitism and being detached from Israeli reality.