ADL Israel Urges Political Leaders to Refrain from Inflammatory Rhetoric on the Supreme Court

Jerusalem, March 20, 2019… The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) called on Israelis from across the political spectrum to be mindful in their choice of words, and to refrain from inflammatory statements about the Supreme Court.  

Carole Nuriel, Director of ADL’s Israel Office, issued the following statement:

Politicians and party leaders have made a number of inflammatory statements surrounding Israel’s Supreme Court in recent days, specifically following the Court’s ruling to disqualify far-right Jewish Power party leader Michael Ben Ari from running for Knesset while permitting far-left candidate Ofer Cassif and the Arab parties Balad and United Arab List. These statements include comparing the Supreme Court to Iran, asserting that “in order to defeat Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces must be freed from the Supreme Court,” and suggesting a false parallel between the Supreme Court and Hamas.

To be clear, criticisms of specific rulings are legitimate and welcome within Israel’s vibrant democratic discourse. However, regardless of one’s views of specific Supreme Court’s rulings, statements aimed at delegitimizing the institution and fomenting public hostility toward it are highly problematic. These voices seek to undermine one of Israel’s most important democratic institutions and to erode the system of checks and balances which is vital to defending basic rights and protecting minority groups.

Politicians and party leaders have made a number of inflammatory statements surrounding Israel’s Supreme Court in recent days, specifically following the Court’s ruling to disqualify far-right Jewish Power party leader Michael Ben Ari from running for Knesset while permitting far-left candidate Ofer Cassif and the Arab parties Balad and United Arab List. These statements include comparing the Supreme Court to Iran, asserting that “in order to defeat Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces must be freed from the Supreme Court,” and suggesting a false parallel between the Supreme Court and Hamas. 

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.