“If the Supreme Court strikes down the Jewish Nation-State Law in its judicial review of the legislation, this will be an earthquake; not only legally, but also politically… a regime earthquake,” said Israel’s far-right Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, on Tuesday, September 4, when she spoke before a conference of the Israel Bar Association in Tel Aviv.
Currently, there are multiple petitions before the Supreme Court, among them one from the Joint List, challenging the basic law’s constitutionality because it discriminates against the Arab-Palestinian national minority in Israel.
Shaked’s concern about the possibility of annulling the law, approved by the Knesset on July 19, was reinforced by the fact that the Supreme Court justices did not rule out petitions filed against it, a basic law. (In the absence of a written constitution, basic laws in Israel are viewed as having quasi-constitutional status.) “If the court accepts the thesis that it’s possible to disqualify a basic law, we can finally answer Justice Cheshin’s question [asked in the 1990s, in a different context]: ‘And the nation; where is it?’ We will respond immediately – nowhere,” Shaked said. “The nation has no relevance in the new constitutional structure that’s being shaped by the Supreme Court.”
Shaked argues that since the new racist law was purposely enshrined as a basic law, the court must respect the “will of the nation as represented by such an unambiguous and quasi-constitutional decision of the Knesset.”