On Sunday, Yariv Levin, the Justice Minister, accused Esther Hayut and Gali Baharav-Miara of trying to lead a ‘coup’ attempt against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He accused the Supreme Court chief and the Attorney General in light of a petition made in the High Court, which aims to force the premier to take a leave of absence.
Last week, a good-governance watchdog group, had filed the petition and argued that Netanyahu is violating the conflict of interest.
In trying to overhaul the justice system, the prime minister is getting involved in matters that could affect his ongoing trial for corruption, which he is prohibited from doing.
Levin said that it was not different from a coup because they were trying to remove a prime minister against the law and trampling on democracy.
He said that the intention and result were the same and added that they would not allow the coup to happen.
The Justice Minister said that this shows just how badly reforms are needed for the judicial system that will help in restoring democracy and ensure that the government authorities have checks and balances.
Levin said that a group of lawyers were unhappy with the election results and were now trying to carrying out a coup by declaring the premier unfit for the role.
Movement for Quality Government
Levin further added that it was not surprising that the left-wing organization named the Movement for Quality Government was behind the opposition to the legal reforms as well as this petition.
He added that the Supreme Court of Justice and the Attorney General were also partners in this move. The petition was filed by the Movement for Quality Government against Netanyahu.
Its founder, Eliad Shraga pushed back against the claim of his organization being left-wing and added that they were willing to put it to test in court.
Shraga said that they work from both the right and the left because their goal is to preserve the rule of law.
He said that they were not a left-wing organization and the justice minister should apologize for his words, or drop his immunity so they could see if his words can stand up in court.
On Saturday, the High Court of Justice was severely criticized by the leaders of the coalition for even hearing the petition.
They claimed that the court even hearing such a petition was not less than a military coup. The petition cited the controversial proposals that the hardline government of Netanyahu has put forward.
The said proposals would curb the powers of the High Court drastically and would give politicians control over the selection of judges.
On Friday, the court said that both Baharav-Miara and Netanyahu would need to present their arguments by March 12th.
Recent reports had claimed that the Attorney General had been looking into the possibility of forcing Netanyahu to step down due to violations of the conflict of interest agreement.
However, the attorney general’s office had denied the remarks.