Against this judicial reform: The argument from the right
Judicial reform, for those that support it, is necessary to stop unelected elites from imposing left wing secular bias to crush values and stop laws more in tune with the religious and traditional Jewish majority in the country.
This in its own terms is a worthy goal because a majority should not feel disenfranchised within their own country, and there should be a process by which the values and laws of a country evolve to reflect the expressed will of the electorate, even if this — especially if — it touches on critical issues of morality and ethics.
However, this is not what this proposed judicial reform actually does.
What this judicial reform does is remove all restrictions on a small group of politicians who have human weaknesses like the rest of us.
‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ (Lord Acton) is a powerful quote known to any undergraduate student of political theory.
Closer to home, Tenakh tells us repeatedly, do not put your trust in man. Yet, paradoxically for a coalition representing the religious and traditional among the Jewish people, this judicial reform takes us away from a law-based society toward a man-dominated society.
Why? Any power that a politician grants themself could no longer be meaningfully challenged under law. Any illegal action that a politician takes could be quickly legalised. Any judge that tries to oppose a politician can be dismissed. The rule of law is replaced with the rule of man.
For those who disagree with this assessment, the onus is on them to tell us, where do the restrictions on potential abuse by politicians with human weakness like the rest of us come from?
And even if we believe our politicians today to be paragons of virtue, Tenakh could not go further in warning us what can happen tomorrow.
Even if we believe our politicians today are on the spiritual plane of an Eli HaKohen, we may still end up tomorrow with a Pinchas or a Hopni (sexual immorality, theft, chillul Hashem)
Even if we believe our politicians today have the honesty in material matters of a Shmuel HaNavi, we may still end up tomorrow with a Yoel or an Abijah (love of gain, bribery, corruption)
Even if we believe our politicians today have the wisdom of a Shlomo HaMelech, we may still end up tomorrow with a Rechavam and split the kingdom.
In other words, Tenakh tells us over and over again that even with the best possible leadership today, this is no guarantee against the worst possible leadership tomorrow.
And even if our current political leaders of the right are indeed paragons of virtue, come the next election, we may have political leadership from the left. Will the supporters of this judicial reform on the right be happy to trust these same unrestricted powers just as much in the hands of the left?