A real and proper body for the selection of judges is an institution that will be able to present Supreme Court candidates with a series of questions about their position, in the case of offenses committed by the State Prosecutor's Office and police investigators in affairs investigated by these bodies.
Alleged offenses by officials in the State Prosecutor's Office and the police have been exposed in the past. One of them is the affair in which it was revealed that details of an investigation from the State Prosecutor's Office were leaked to the northern criminal gang Abu Latif. Other alleged offenses involved methods of extortion by threats against people who were marked as potential state witnesses in Netanyahu's files.
Mandelblit // Photo: Mark Israel Salem,
The same is true of the burial of the Pegasus investigation – the hacking of the phones of suspects and witnesses in certain cases by illegal spyware. Those responsible for burying the investigation into the matter are former Attorney General Mandelblit, current Advisor Harb-Miara, and especially Deputy Attorney General Amit Marari, who covered up the scandal and disrespected the Knesset.
Such a committee for the selection of judges must be a body composed mostly of elected officials, politicians. And these can be from the coalition or the opposition. But the opposition representatives negotiating at the president's residence are defending the assets of the legal establishment like bereaved bears.
President Hayut opposes the Levin reform: "Israel's 75th year will be remembered as the year in which the country's democratic identity was severely damaged" // Credit: Shmuel Buchris
The judges on the designated committee will not allow any judge who does not say "Amen" to the enforcement and investigative bodies to penetrate the upper echelons, the Supreme Court. We saw that even the hawkish judges in Netanyahu's trial, who sent a thick hint to the prosecution that they would go to mediation, ran into the obstacle of legal adviser Bahar-Miara, who wants the prime minister hostage.
Gantz and Lapid (archive), photo: Oren Ben Hakon
Is it permissible to expect representatives of the opposition, i.e., Gantz and Lapid's envoys, to prioritize the public interest in the composition of the judicial selection committee? Yesterday, reports were published that give room for optimism. It seems that we have reached a moment when the destructive struggle of the Phalanges led by Ehud Barak seriously threatens Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, and it remains to be seen how they will choose to act. Should negotiations be in the public interest or in the interest of a dangerous oligarchic group? There is some chance that this is the right moment for Gantz and Lapid to break free from the stranglehold of Barak and his people.
Moreover, its president, Esther Hayut, should also have an interest in maintaining the independence of the Supreme Court so that it does not survive on Barak's Phalange bayonets, whose purpose is to intimidate ministers and elected officials and demoralize all aspects of life in Israel.
Esther Hayut, Photo: Oren Ben Hakon
A study recently published in The Washington Post shows that dialogue, contacts and agreements between the political poles of the parties are perhaps the only guarantee of democracy's survival. "The danger of an authoritarian regime does not come from hostility to democracy. It comes from Americans (or Israelis), who are increasingly invested in democracy and from their fear that democracy will be taken away from them," the study said. Blocking the reform initiative in a sweeping manner will not protect democracy. The price of growing mistrust among the public will be high and will fracture democracy.
After the coalition's concessions, the demand to legislate the agreements and move on without pressure is just and beneficial to the entire system. If the opposition paralyzes progress on the Judicial Selection Commission, it will be against the will of the public. A change in the composition of the committee that recognizes the social changes in Israel, as well as the agreements reached, would be not a bad achievement. At least in the eyes of those who fear for the fate of democracy.
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