Trust in Israel’s top court
March 28, 2023 - After months of mass protests, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has delayed his government’s controversial Supreme Court reform plans until the next parliamentary session.
Protests intensified on Sunday (March 26) after Netanyahu announced the firing of Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, after he spoke out in opposition to the reform that would give control over the appointment of judges to the government. The planned reforms would also enable parliament to override the Supreme Court.
“When there’s an opportunity to avoid civil war through dialogue, I, as prime minister, am taking a timeout for dialogue,” Netanyahu said in a prime-time speech on Monday night. He vowed to reach a “broad consensus” during the summer session of parliament, which begins on April 30.
As seen in the latest annual Israeli Democracy Index by the Israel Democracy Institute, Israelis’ trust in the Supreme Court has enjoyed a high score since 2003: 59.5 per cent among Jewish Israelis and 55.9 per cent amount Arab Israelis.
The Supreme Court ranked third behind the Israeli Defence Forces and the President of Israel. This score was substantially higher than trust in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament (36%).
Fifty-six per cent of Jewish Israelis agree that the Supreme Court should have the power to overturn laws passed by the Knesset if they conflict with democratic principles. This number rises to 71% among Arab Israelis.
In contrast, three out of four (75%) Jewish Israelis rate Israel’s current leadership as very or moderately corrupt. This view rises to 82% among Arab Israelis.