Coalition Chairman Blasts Justice Minister Livni After Opposition Gets 2 MKs on Key Israeli Legal Committee

Likud MK Yariv Levin bemoans members of the coalition "systematically seeking to hamper each other instead of working together."

Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin has harshly criticized his own coalition's failure to appoint one of its own candidates to the Judicial Appointments Committee, leveling particular blame at Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Two members of the opposition were elected instead.

In an interview for the Besheva newspaper that is to be published Friday, Levin said the committee “hasn’t experienced a setback - it’s a major disaster. This result is simply intolerable. This didn’t just start now - it began with the appointment of Tzipi Livni [Hatnuah] to the post of Justice Minister. She also chairs the committee and controls much of what goes on there.”

MK Levin (Likud) says that Livni’s appointment was unavoidable following the January election, when Likud won only 20 seats and was forced to make concessions during coalition negotiations. However, he stressed that the problem runs much deeper and requires a different solution.

“We’re playing by rules that don’t make sense," Levin said, "and we’re at a disadvantage from the outset. It is inconceivable that the majority of the committee comprises representatives of the justice system, the judges and lawyers.”

Levin is considered one of the figures most responsible for the failure of the “deal” that was meant to result in Yisrael Beiteinu MK David Rotem’s reappointment to a second term on the committee. However, Levin intends to try and bring about a fundamental change in the composition of the Judicial Appointments Committee in the future.

The two opposition MKs elected in place of Rotem were Isaac Herzog (Labor) and Yitzhak Cohen (Shas). Levin feels these appointments aren’t even the biggest indication of the sad state the coalition is in. “The main problem is that members of the current coalition are systematically seeking to hamper each other instead of working together … Ministers veto one another instead of looking for ways to cooperate with each other. That is the coalition’s main problem.”