Constitutional crisis: the coalition intends to change the basic law just so that Deri can become a minister

by Avraham Yaakov

עיתון בין אויבים

A newspaper among enemies

The Aryeh Deri law, which will allow a person sentenced to probation to become a minister, may be the first law that the new coalition will enact in its way to change the balance between the legal and political system. Will the social and political crisis in Israel lead to the destruction of the foundations of the democratic regime? Our legal commentator warns that the deterioration is already written in black writing on the wall. Therefore, if the amendment to the Basic Law is indeed enacted, the newspaper will consider submitting it to the High Court of Justice and will ask the Supreme Court for an interim order to cancel the amendment pending the legal decision. Avraham Ya'akov, former vice president of the Central District Court, continues to analyze and follow.

By Avraham Yaakov


As I mentioned in a previous article, the new coalition wants to make the following changes in the legal field:

  1. Legislation of the "overcoming clause"
  2. "French law" legislation
  3. Deletion of the crime of fraud and breach of trust from the law book
  4. Changing the composition of the committee for the appointment of judges
  5. Dismissal of the legal advisor to the government
  6. Splitting the role of the Attorney General
  7. Turning the positions of legal advisors to government ministries into "positions of trust"
  8. Major changes in the prosecutor's office

Recently, it became clear that the coalition intends to add to all these the amendment of the basic law: the government. In the sense that section 6(c)(1) of the Basic Law states that: "No one who has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison shall be appointed as a minister…" will be amended so that the word "in practice" is added to it and the prohibition on the appointment to the position of a minister will only apply to those who have been convicted and sentenced to prison in practice.



The question arises, why is the repair necessary?


The amendment is intended to qualify the appointment of Shas chairman Aryeh Deri, to the position of minister in the emerging government.


On January 25, 2022, Aryeh Deri was convicted, for the second time in his life, and this time, of committing tax offenses.

The conviction was based on his confession, and he was sentenced, among other things, to a suspended prison sentence. According to the accepted interpretation for many years, "imprisonment" also means conditional imprisonment. This is because a conditional sentence is a sentence whose serving is postponed for a certain time, and it depends on the controls of a certain event. But this is a prison sentence for all intents and purposes. Therefore, according to the wording of the Basic Law and according to the accepted interpretation, Aryeh Deri is prevented from being a minister.

The new coalition seeks to change a basic law for the private needs of one person. This has not yet happened in our places!

The Basic Laws of the State of Israel are a substitute for the Constitution. The constitution is not changed for the needs of the moment or for the needs of one person. This is an unequivocal customary legal rule. Personal legislation, even in an ordinary law, as opposed to a basic law, is considered in the legal system as a fact that will not be done. Even more so when it comes to the Basic Law. Such legislative changes, the purpose of which is the qualification of acts or of persons who until yesterday were considered prohibited acts or persons who are unfit for office, result in the qualification of what or who were clearly prohibited until that moment. This is a breach of fences that no one can estimate where it will end regarding the deterioration of the rule of law. This is a fundamental erosion of the democratic character of the State of Israel.

Such a change in the Basic Law cannot be passed today, when the legal advisors in the various government ministries are independent and as gatekeepers, they have the power to warn the initiators of bills that this is, for example, an unconstitutional law that undermines the foundations of democracy. However, as I mentioned at the beginning, the new coalition intends to turn the positions of legal advisors to government ministries into positions of trust, so that instead of gatekeepers, the public may receive disciplined legal professionals.

Can the High Court prevent this?

probably not.

The new coalition intends to enact the overcoming clause, so that the rulings of the Supreme Court can be overturned with a majority of 61. The result is that any coalition, even the smallest one, will be able to cancel the rulings of the High Court, thus ending the citizen's last defense against the tyranny of the government. The conclusion that emerges from the personal amendment to the Basic Law of the Government, as well as from the intention to remove the gatekeepers in the various government ministries, as well as from the intention to enact the overcoming clause with a majority of 61 – is one: the new coalition intends to remove any limitation from itself and to enact laws as it pleases without any supervision and control, thus bringing democracy Israeli to a smooth slope.

Our newspaper, which has inscribed on its flag the values ​​of preserving democracy and freedom, will consider submitting a petition to the High Court at the appropriate time.