Judicial Intervention in Parliamentary Affairs to Replace the Legislature’s Speaker

The Edelstein ruling shook the foundations of Israeli democracy. For the first time in the country’s history, the Israeli Supreme Court intervened in the legislature’s internal affairs by scheduling a date for a vote, thus shaping the vote’s outcome and creating an irrevocable political reality. Never before had a Knesset Speaker resigned in protest while refusing to uphold a court order. Every governmental branch viewed the other as damaging the core principles of democracy. The Court opined that the Knesset Speaker’s refusal to hold a vote for electing a new Knesset Speaker, even though the majority of the Knesset Members called for it, constituted a grave violation of parliamentary affairs. The Knesset Speaker, in turn, adhered to his stance that he was acting with integrity and preventing a second Altalena Affair by resigning. Who is right? With whom is the law?