The High Court needs to know its place, MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home), chairman of the Knesset Constitution Committee, told Arutz Sheva on Sunday, after the director of Israel's Courts demanded that Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein sanction MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) for his criticism of the High Court's decision to hold off on demolition of terrorists' homes.
"We are not undermining the authority of the High Court," said Slominansky, rejecting the criticism leveled at members of his party in recent days, after they blasted the Court’s decision regarding the demolitions.
"I very much want to have a strong legal system and a loud and clear court," he stressed, "but the court needs to know its place. It is the judiciary and not the legislature. In addition, it has to live within the people and not be disconnected."
"In our case, when there is a national calamity and there are so many stabbing attacks and the Chief of Staff and head of the Shin Bet say that the demolitions are a deterrent so long as they are carried out close to the time of the attack, and the Israeli government decided that demolitions will take place within 72 hours, we are finally implementing it, and suddenly the Court comes and stops it," said Slomiansky, noting that last week the home of terrorists who carried out an attack four years ago was demolished and explaining that having the demolition come so late after the fact causes it to lose its effect.
"You are not the legislature, you have to live among the people," he continued, addressing the High Court. "This is not an ordinary case, it is not a rare event but has become widespread and just as the state makes decisions that it would not make under normal circumstances, so must the Court not act like the United Nations. That’s why we are so angry. At this time, in order to stop terrorism, we have to take extraordinary measures."
Earlier Sunday, MK Yogev slammed Michael Spitzer, the director of Israel's Courts, over his letter to Edelstein asking that Yogev be sanctioned.
Spitzer's criticism, said Yogev, is “another example of judicial activism, which continues to harm the security of Israelis.”
Yogev added that “as usual, we do not hear any useful information or arguments from the direction of the director of the courts. It is time that the High Court understand that it is not they who decide for the people, but the democratically elected leaders who decide, especially when it comes to the security of Israelis.”
Meanwhile, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett tried to lower the flames, saying that criticism of the High Court is legitimate but stressing the Court is not an enemy of the people.
"Criticism is a legitimate thing, and I also have quite a bit of criticism of the court system, but we mustn't let people from among us spill the baby with the bathwater," said Bennett.
"The court is not the enemy of the people," he clarified. "Even if we have a bitter dispute over the identity of the country, we are all on one side, the same side."