“Aharon Barak is a judicial pirate because he robbed our parliamentary democracy,” former justice minister Haim Ramon (Labor) said on Sunday about the former president of Israel’s supreme court, the author of Israel’s “constitutional revolution.”
Ramon spoke at the seventh annual Zionist Human Rights Conference organized by Im Tirtzu, which was focused on the impact of Israel’s justice system on human rights.
Ramon, who held a number of ministerial portfolios for Labor and Kadima, including deputy prime minister, lambasted Israel’s justice system, accusing it of being “tyrannical” and of imposing its will on governments that are elected by the people.
“According to the justice system, the laws are merely recommendations and not obligatory,” Ramon said. “The jurists tell the politicians: you need to do what we tell you. The citizens could vote for you 17 times over, but you still don’t get to decide.”
Ramon, 69, was appointed health minister in the government of Yitzhak Rabin in 1992, then resigned and defeated Labor to become chairman of the Histadrut labor union—a post owned by Labor since the 1920s. In 2000 he served under PM Ehud Barak as interior minister, then, in 2006, joined the Kadima party and served as justice minister under PM Ehud Olmert. In the summer of the same year Ramon was indicted for indecent assault (he French-kissed a young IDF female officer), for which he was sentenced to 120 hours of community service. This, for all intents and purposes, terminated the political career of one of the smartest politicians in Israel’s history.
Ramon also told the conference on Sunday that despite a clear law permitting Prime Minister Netanyahu to run while facing an indictment, the justice system is trying to reinterpret the law.
The conference featured a panel with two Israeli non-Jews who lost their sons in terrorist attacks. The bereaved parents, who were awarded Im Tirtzu’s Zionist Prize for Human Rights, also lashed out at the justice system.
“The justice system always talks about the human rights of the terrorists – what about my human rights?” asked Issam Ottman, father of Youseff Ottman who was murdered in a 2017 terrorist attack. “If I no longer can see my son, why should the families of terrorists get to see their children in prison? What deterrence do we have against these murderers when they see how they are treated so lavishly in prison?”
Former Labor party Druze MK Shakib Shanan, father of Kamil Shanan who was murdered in the July 2017 Temple Mount terrorist attack, said that “the justice system does not give strong enough punishments to deter these evil terrorists.”
“I demand a life sentence for every person killed,” Shanan said. “But we will not be deterred by all these terrorists. I’m proud to be Israeli. There is no better place in the Middle East for the Druze than in Israel.”