At the Emergency Conference on Democracy held on 24 February 2023 at Tel Aviv’s Enav Center, a panel was dedicated to Zulat’s ‘Emergency Call-Up’ project, which enlisted 100 former MKs and government ministers to attend Knesset committee sessions in order to fight the regime revolution. Taking part in the panel were former justice minister Meir Sheetrit, former Knesset Constitution Committee chairman Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson, former education minister Prof. Yuli Tamir, and former finance minister Roni Bar-On. The following are highlights of their remarks.
Meir Sheetrit: The enactment of an override clause means that every coalition will have a majority to overturn Supreme Court rulings. Citizens will have no recourse against the tyranny of the government. The one consolation is that no one rules forever. The public will send this government packing. It won’t take four years, but it won’t happen tomorrow either. The protest should reach such intensity as to make them feel that they are going down.
Prof. Yuli Tamir: Our camp failed because we did not educate people about democracy. We talked about equality but created an unequal society. The Supreme Court is a shield, but it needs an infrastructure. In the past we sat in governments with the ultra-Orthodox. Back then they knew the limits of their power, but now they have lost all restraint and have become intoxicated with power. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can go back to something more balanced. Israelis are very diverse and we need to talk to them.
Roni Bar-On: Seeing Benny Gantz smile at Levin and Rotman on that terrible night in the Knesset plenum was a disheartening image for all those who ventured out into the rain to come to Jerusalem to demonstrate. It was an unspeakable disgrace. Nevertheless, we must remember that our people are stronger than their leaders.
Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson: These days I attend the meetings of the Constitution Committee and learn a lot about drunkenness, callousness, and hubris that can lead into the abyss. We listen to everyone and choose who to respond to and who not to respond to, to understand what is being proposed and to suggest an alternative.
Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):