Bennett: High Court ‘Tying Our Hands’ over Illegal Infiltrators

August 12, 2015  

Jewish Home Chairman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, criticized the High Court Wednesday for the verdict that amended the Infiltrators Law.

The court was wrong to interfere – for the third time – in the Knesset’s legislation on the matter, and to shorten the period for which infiltrators can be held in open detainment from 20 months to one year, Bennett opined.

“The residents of southern Tel Aviv are paying the price of these wrong decisions daily,” Bennett said. “The state of Israel is fighting for its character and identity. Responsibility for this rests with the government. This interference by the High Court is improper. It ties our hands in this vital campaign.”

Bennett stressed that the verdict must be respected. “On the other hand,” he added, “the High Court judges should understand that by interfering too much, they are eroding the public’s trust in them, and if this over-interference continues, we will take action to block this activism.”

“A government needs to rule and judges need to judge,” he stressed. “Once judges or legal advisors penetrate the sphere of governance (without bearing the responsibility for their decisions upon their shoulders), this causes basic damage to the state.”

Bennett is not alone among ministers in opposing the verdict. Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Tuesday: “In determining that the 12-month period is ‘a more proper’ period than 20 months, and that it expresses the required mercy for the infiltrators (but ignores the proper mercy toward the suffering of the residents of the neighborhoods), the High Court has placed itself as a ‘super-legislator’ that sets detailed arrangements and in this situation, the Knesset has no choice but to pass the Override Clause that will allow it to retain its status as the legislative body.”

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) also harshly criticized the High Court’s ruling. “I regret that I have to pour cold water on the excitement of my colleagues from the Right,” Smotrich said Tuesday. “This is a delusional verdict that exposes the lack of logic, not to say ridiculousness, in the High Court’s judicial activism.”

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