Newly-appointed Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) promised to promote checks and balances Monday at the opening session of the 15th Annual Conference of the Israel Bar Association in Eilat.
"The judiciary is one of the most prominent symbols of Israeli democracy," Shaked said, echoing remarks made Sunday at the Justice Minsitry's welcome reception for her.
"The Supreme Court is the focal point of national pride and I will do everything to keep it as such," she added.
However, Shaked emphasized, "only a genuine separation of powers will ensure the survival of democracy, the balance of which is subtle. The meaning of the word 'democracy' is the rule of the people. The people are sovereign and choose their representatives."
"In any place there is doubt, we must act as representatives of the people," Shaked stressed.
"In recent years there is a growing impression among large parts of the public that something is blurred in this approach. It seems that decision-making is not determined by the people, as in by elected representatives, but by members of the judiciary."
"The issue," Shaked noted, "is at the heart of public debate."
"Those opposed to this blurring of powers, and I am of course included, are being defined as 'the sons of darkness,' while those who support depriving the right of the public to make decisions through their Knesset representatives are called 'sons of light,'" she asserted.
"I am rejecting these categories and I am rejecting even these definitions," Shaked stressed.
"I would like to reinforce the authority of the executive branch, while maintaining the independence and status of the judicial branch," the new Justice minister explained.
"In my new role, I expect myself and other, to engage in dignified and true pluralistic discourse, a dialogue without tyranny and prejudice, but one in which everyone has one common interest – the pursuit of justice and truth."