Opinion: Women today take things like voting and owning property for granted, but our fragile achievements could be jeopardized if the body that gave us these freedoms – the Supreme Court – has its power whittled away by politicians and their coalition deals

Can we imagine the days when divorced women had no right for property? Can we imagine when the Israeli Air Force had no women pilots? Have we forgotten how women were sent to the back of buses?

These changes – made within living memory – are what gave Israeli women their freedom today, and they are the work of the battered and abused Supreme Court.

Esther Hayut is sworn in as chief justice of the Supreme Court
Esther Hayut is sworn in as chief justice of the Supreme Court


The court that time and again defended the rights of women as part of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, while legislators watched and did nothing, or even pushed for discriminatory legislation.

The bill allowing the Knesset to overturn Supreme Court rulings with just a simple majority that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently pushing for means that the coalition would be able to do what ever it desired, as long as it had 61 votes.

Those who enjoy flaunting this fact and talk of the “wisdom of the masses” as the sole interpretation of democracy must have forgotten the role in that democracy of human rights and minority rights.

We can discuss the need for the separation of powers in a democracy. I can understand and identify with those who claim that the judicial revolution led by former chief justice Aharon Barak was too much; however, the fire aimed at the Supreme Court in recent years isn’t based on reality, and the string of new expected legislation is disturbing.

It’s disturbing since it’s clear that the first to pay the price for this legislation will be women and minorities — the same ones who are always cast aside once a so-called higher agenda is at stake.

Female combat soldiers in the IDF  (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Female combat soldiers in the IDF (Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)


As reported by Ynetnews