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Will Justice Minister Shaked Finally Root Out the Left Stranglehold on the Courts?

In Israel, appointments of new judges are firmly in the hands of the existing justice junta, who had a decisive position on judge appointment committees. This is why Israel’s justice system has been overwhelmingly dominated by a small secular leftist elite for decades and only had negligible Oriental and religious representation. 

Since the Likud came to power in 1977, the secular justice system has also been manipulated as a corrective to any anti-secular, pro-Jewish and pro-settler legislation that the Knesset sought to pass. The usual pattern for this is that leftist organizations appealed to the courts against a bill or measure, and the courts responded by consistently upholding the leftist position. Even the few religious and Oriental judges on the bench kowtowed to the dominant leftist worldview, knowing that their promotions and public reputations depended on it. 

The justice system is the main power focus that has maintained the secular monopoly of the country with the media only secondary to it. The Likud has done nothing to deal with these two power foci and regularly cowers and subjects itself to their dictates.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked says she is planning to do something about this lopsided situation. In preparation for selecting another 4 Supreme court justices in the coming weeks, she is proposing a bill that will greatly reduce crony appointments.

The bill will cancel the need for a special majority to appoint Supreme court justices and obviates the need for the Supreme Court president’s approval to the selections. Prime Minister Netanyahu has offered his support for the bill, which was officially proposed by Justice Selection Committee member Israel Bateinu MK Elituv.

The Land of Israel Legal Forum praised the initiative, saying, “Minister Shaked has taken another courageous and significant step to making the Supreme Court representative of all parts of Israeli society, which will increase the public’s trust in the justice system.”

In contrast, former Justice Minister Tzippy Livni, a gatekeeper for the secular minority, deplored the amendment, saying, “This government will not rest until it completely pulverizes all those guarding the gates, democracy and the Supreme Court. Enough of this!” 

This Orwellian statement demonstrates how the secular left believes that democracy and justice is upheld only when they are ipso facto in control rather than when there is genuine equal representation in the court system.


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