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Israel’s judicial review will weaken

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Subject

Rightward shift of the Supreme Court.

Significance

The Supreme Court has historically checked political power through judicial review. However, under the present government its independence has been challenged by a battle with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party. The right-wing-dominated Knesset (parliament) has in recent months passed several controversial laws affecting the rights of Arab Israelis and Palestinians, which are likely to come before the court.

Impacts

  • Expanded Israeli control over the West Bank would reduce the likelihood of a political agreement with the Palestinians.
  • Unchecked pro-settler legislation could create diplomatic crises with partners in Europe and potentially with the Trump administration.
  • Conservative legislation could also constrain minority and individual rights, over such issues as gender, sexuality and freedom of religion.
  • Ultra-nationalist legislation will further alienate US Jewish supporters who believe it undermines democracy in Israel.
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