Attorney Dr. Shelly Kamin-Friedman: Supreme Court’s Authority To Discuss Reasonableness – Only Tool at Citizen’s Disposal Who Feels Government Decision Harms His Health

On 28 February 2023, the Knesset’s Special Committee for Youth Affairs chaired by MK Naama Lazimi (Labor Party) held a discussion on the topic: Implications of Elimination of Reasonableness Standard on Environmental Protection and Public Health.

Dr. Attorney Shelly Kamin-Friedman attended the discussion, where she presented the position paper she wrote for Zulat: Consequences of Regime Revolution on Public Health. Following are the highlights of her remarks:

The court’s authority to discuss reasonableness is the only tool at the disposal of a citizen who feels that a government decision harms his health. One such example is the decision to spray Bedouin crops with dangerous pesticides in the Negev, which was stopped after the Health Ministry concluded that it caused unreasonable harm to the Bedouin population’s health. Another example is former internal security minister Amir Ohana’s decision to withhold Covid vaccines from prison inmates. We are required to file court petitions to make sure that laws are implemented reasonably.

Moreover, the reasonableness standard correlates with public trust. Even when petitions are rejected, the very fact that the issue was discussed by the court increases the public’s trust. Research shows that the higher the trust, the more the public is willing to cooperate. During the Covid pandemic there were many decisions that required the cooperation of the public.

A final argument concerns the harm inflicted on solidarity and social cohesion, which are a basic condition for public health, as a result of the public controversy about the reasonableness standard.

Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):


צילום מסך 2023-02-28 172534


Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.