Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments in bid to oust PM, coalition outraged

Netanyahu was warned by the AG not to intervene in judicial overhaul amid criminal proceedings against him, on corruption charges; coalition leaders say ruling is an assault on democracy

The Supreme Court on Thursday, agreed to hear arguments in a motion to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office after he allegedly violated his conflict of interest agreement and interfered in the legislation of the judicial overhaul, despite being warned by Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara last March, that due to criminal proceedings against him, he must refrain from involvement.
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A panel of justices will be selected in the coming days, the court said. The motion was brought last month by 39 members of "Fortress Democracy," an advocacy group led by former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. Attorney for Fortress Democracy said she was pleased that the court decided to hear arguments.
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עדות מילצ'ן מעיד במשפט נתניהו
עדות מילצ'ן מעיד במשפט נתניהו
Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court during his corruption trial
(Photo: Haim Goldberg)
A similar motion was rejected by the court after the AG said Netanyahu was not in contempt when he said he would be stepping in, to take control of the legislative process that has thus far brought hundreds of thousands to the streets for mass demonstrations for the past 27 weeks.
Coalition leaders said Netanyahu was elected by a vast majority of Israelis and an extremist group was attempting to oust him from power. "We are shocked by the Supreme Court's ruling to hear arguments," they said in a statement. "This is a fatal blow to democracy and the will of the people.
The legislative push to weaken the authority of the Supreme Court over the legislative and executive branches and politician's control over the selection of justices and judges in lower courts, came after the prime minister was indicted on charges of corruption, which he denied. He claimed the cases against him were trumped up by the police commissioner and the then AG, both people he appointed.
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מפגינים ומפגינות בנתב"ג
מפגינים ומפגינות בנתב"ג
Mass demonstration at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday
(Photo: Dana Kopel)
In the years before his 2019 indictment, Netanyahu was a staunch supporter of the independence of the courts and the AG, against efforts by his right-wing and religious partners, some from his ruling Likud Party, to change the judicial system.
The attorney representing Fortress Democracy said she was pleased that the court decided to hear arguments.
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