Knesset legal adviser warns speaker is breaching court ruling, but Edelstein stands firm; reportedly tells allies ‘High Court can’t send judges to open the plenum’
“The High Court can’t send judges to open the plenum, and I hope they won’t behave in such an extremely irresponsible and un-statesmanlike manner.”
In a bombshell announcement, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday announced that he was resigning rather than calling a parliament vote on his own replacement, as required earlier this week by the High Court of Justice.
“As someone who has paid a personal price of years in a labor camp for the right to live in the State of Israel, as a Zionist and as the speaker of this house, I won’t allow Israel to descend into anarchy, I won’t lend a hand to civil war,” Edelstein, who spent three years in a Soviet gulag, said in a statement.
“Therefore, for the benefit of the State of Israel… I am hereby resigning from my role as Knesset speaker,” he said. “Let us pray and hope for better days.”
Were Edelstein, an MK from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, to have persisted in defying the court, Israel would have been plunged into a constitutional crisis.
Justice Minister Amir Ohana, also a Likud MK, on Monday said Edelstein should indeed stand firm against the justices.
Edelstein’s resignation will only enter into effect in 48 hours, meaning his actions have delayed a vote on the next speaker until next week.
Header: Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein signing an official response to the High Court over holding a vote to replace him, March 23, 2020. (Courtesy)