A Departing Government – Not a Transitional One

Weekly newsletter of The Legal Forum

The Legal Forum has requested that the Attorney General re-examine his legal opinion preventing the government from bringing the Levy Report for deliberation due to the up-coming elections.

Following the dissolution of the Knesset, the Attorney General wrote a guidance document entitled “Government Decisions During the Interim Period” to the State Secretary  stating that after passing the law regarding the dissolution of the Knesset, the government is limited in operations, and decision making”.

The Attorney General’s interpretation is inadequate. Attorney Yossi Fuchs from the Legal Forum states in his legal opinion that the Attorney General’s reliance on the

judgment by Judge Weiss (dealing with the petition to limit political negotiations before elections) as a reason to limit the powers of the government, is a reversal of reality, since the Court stated clearly there that Israeli law does not recognize that the authority of a departing government is reduced, moreover, the government is committed to act reasonably and proportionality as any other government.

In a petition filed in 2001 against political negotiations held by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak the Supreme Court ruled that the purposes of interim governments are twofold: to prevent a political vacuum and ensuring stability and continuity, and therefore the negotiations were “reasonable”. He stated that that “????” is narrowed as the election date approaches, but nevertheless Judge Barak did not issue a warrant to end negotiations.

If we look at this verdict, and compare it for example, to the temporary order issued by former Supreme Court Judge Dalia Dorner, on the eve of the 1999 elections against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, forbidding him from putting an end to the political activities taking place at the Orient House , the center of the PA government in Jerusalem, we understand that more than legal argumentation and analysis legal facts, the question is who do the courts harm, the Zionists or the post Zionists. This question is critical to the understanding of the situation.

This is a classic example of how the legal systems limits or allows measures and decision by governments to take place, depending on its leaders. If they act in the interests of the state of Israel any measure will be taken to halt them (i.e. Levy Report, Orient House)

Regarding the issue at hand, it would be appropriate for the Attorney General to clarify to the Prime Minister that the government in power, even after the dissolution of the Knesset is not a transitional government and is authorized to make any decision which it was authorized to prior to the Knesset being dispersed in accordance with reasonableness and proportionality, which are required at any time.  If this is not the case we will witness a paralyzed government for 90 days, legally bound from making any decisions and dependent on Supreme Court rulings.

One of the Legal Forum’s main objectives has always been to ensure sound government and is therefore acting with all the legal tools at hand to ensure that this is in fact the case and that the government’s actions not be blocked by legal “excuses”.


*Below is a link to an article by Legal Forum General Director Nachi Eyal regarding

Ehud Olmert’s possible return to public life.


October 28, 2012 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. @ Bernard Ross:

    Is this a fig leaf for BB not to take action?

    Would not surprise me.

    In the past right wing activists and institutions maintained that the leftist governments should be limited in scope in line with caretaker status. The left and their attorney general along with the courts ruled that the government in transition has all of the powers to act in accordance to their mandate. Reason is that the law places no limitations on a transitional government and they are in office until they are removed by an election. Sometimes transitional governments have been in office for up to 8 months before the election process and votes.

  2. can the AG prevent the govt from acting or merely advise against it. Is this a fig leaf for BB not to take action? After taking action then the supreme court can act on the bringing of a suit, no? Levy report was legally commissioned by govt to interpret Law,then how can implementing its findings conflict with law when it is already a finding of law? Implementing a finding in law cannot be considered a political negotiation. The finding deal with discontinuing an illegal act of obstructing settlement, so haow can discontinuing an illegality be illegal. Until the supreme court finds otherwise it is legal