Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS
The Supreme Court and the Knesset buildings.

Senior Cabinet Ministers decried a ruling made by Israel’s Supreme Court Wednesday morning that nullified a clause in a law about foreign workers residing in Israel. The clause required than any government financial or social benefits earned by a foreign worker in accordance with the law become forfeit should the worker illegally remain in Israel after his visa expired.

In its decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the “deposit law” law “infringes on the constitutional right to property in a disproportionate manner.” Israel does not have a constitution.


Only one of the seven judges on the committee disagreed, Justice Noam Sohlberg.

In Sohlberg’s minority response he said there is no justification for ruling that the law was invalid. He explained that the foreign workers know their money is waiting for them when they leave the country, and this penalty affords them the opportunity to understand the consequences if they don’t leave Israel when their visa expires.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin used the decision as an example of why his government is pushing through new laws that would greatly curtail the authority of the court to issue such rulings.

“If anyone had any doubts as to why a deep reform of the judicial system is needed,” said Levin, “he received the answer again today in another ruling that encourages illegal immigration to Israel while harming the demographic composition and the Jewish identity of the country.”

Levin went on to say that the ruling gives the” green light to tens of thousands of foreign workers to violate the conditions of their license and remain in the country unhindered in violation of the law.”

The Justice Minister also lamented what he feels will be the consequence of this ruling. Levin said it would harm Israel’s Jewish character by allowing numerous non-Jewish foreign workers to remain in the country indefinitely.

Israel’s Finance Minister and leader of the right-wing Religious Zionism Party in the Knesset Bezalel Smotrich echoed the Justice Minister tweeting, “Once again the High Court of Justice rejects an important and Zionist law of the Knesset that was designed to keep Israel Jewish and democratic and only proves the need to continue to work to correct the judicial system and also to ensure diversity of opinions in the Supreme Court. God willing, we will make sure this happens!”

Israel’s Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, – also leader of the right-wing Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) Party in the Knesset – expressed similar sentiments.

“This morning the High Court rejected again a law designed to encourage foreign workers to leave Israel,” he said. “Today’s rejection by the High Court is the exact proof why we are fighting with all our might to pass the legal reform. And the sooner the better.” News Desk contributed to this report.

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