It's a shame that towards the end of the term, we are witnessing questionable developments. The most recent one was reflected in a public speech, in which Weinstein was quoted as saying that "there are those who believe that in Israel today, governance is no longer in the hands of the people's elected representatives, but in the hands of the legal system."
Weinstein clarified however, that focusing on the majority rule was a "simplistic and unfounded perception of the term governance. Democracy which functions from the power of the majority and violates minority rights is not a democracy."
It was public criticism against Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's comments, and it was also something that should not be done – a senior government worker lashing out at the minister in charge of him in public. The actual act is a live example of jurists' takeover of the state and of the undermining of governance in the state, which has nothing to do with protecting the minority.
In Weinstein's favor, it should be said that he didn't explicitly mention the minister's name – which is something his predecessor didn't hesitate doing – and that does reduce the severity of the remarks. I am willing to add in Weinstein's favor that until today he has always acted by the rules and that this was a one-time slip. And yet, it deserves our attention.
Like every governmental revolution, the legal revolution was also carried out along with nice slogans. One time it was "the rule of law," another time it was "a war on corruption," and another time "defending the weak," "defending minorities" or "defending democracy." But the undermining of governance in Israel through the legal system has very little to do with all of this.
The "defending minorities" slogan is also far from being impressive. The residents of southern Tel Aviv are a minority, but only recently the Supreme Court revoked the defense they need and favored a different minority – the infiltrators.
Another affair is the state's paralysis for many months during the election campaign period, despite explicit Knesset legislation which states that even after the government resigns, "the outgoing government will continue filling its roles until the new government is established."
Those who are unfamiliar with the secrets of the Israeli legalization would likely think that the rule of law means honoring the Knesset's legislation, including the previously quoted order. But in Israel, the rule of law means emptying out the Knesset laws from their content through the High Court bypassing a basic law, which transferred control to the attorney general who paralyzed the state.
There is no need to say that this paralysis has nothing to do with defending the minority or defending democracy. The paralysis powerfully strikes both the majority and the minority in the state, and harms democracy and the rule of law.
And I almost forgot: There is one minority which does receive protection this way – the group of jurists who stick to their power.
Prof. Daniel Friedmann served as Israel's justice minister from 2007 to 2009.