Supreme Court: Illegal for Litzman to Serve as Deputy Health Minister


yaakov litzmanIn a dramatic decision handed out by a five-judge panel, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled Sunday that Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party must cease to be a deputy within two months, Ynet reports.

The court added that Mr. Litzman can legally be appointed as a full minister, which is the most likely course of action, though it would be a first for United Torah Judaism.

Under the current situation, MK Litzman serves as a deputy minister with minister powers, a common arrangement made in order to allow members of United Torah Judaism to be part of coalition governments without being full government members.

If MK Litzman does indeed become health minister, Ynet reports, he will be the first member of United Torah Judaism to be a full member of the government in decades. The first Minister of Welfare, Yitzhak-Meir Levin, was a member of Agudat Yisrael, a previous incarnation of United Torah Judaism. The office of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who currently serves officially as health minister, has stated that they will respect the court’s decision.

“It eludes us why Litzman did not take action and remove the need for a ruling on this embarrassing petition, by joining the government as a Minister,” wrote Justice Elyakim Rubinstein in the decision. The decision further stated that the ‘historic’ political institution of Deputy Ministers serving in Minister capacities is illegal, as it does not fulfill the requirements of either a minister or a deputy minister under Israel’s Basic Law: The Government (2001).

Deputy Minister Litzman’s office responded to the decision by saying, “We have accepted the High Court of Justice’s decision and will study its implications. The subject will be brought before the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, whose ruling we will follow.”

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. I don’t understand why United Torah Judaism needs to have a member of their party as a cabinet minister or a deputy minister for that matter. Why doesn’t UTJ allow Bibi Netanyahu to appoint a minister of his choosing with the oral understanding that if that minister should take any action found objectionable to UTJ than UTJ will withdraw from the coalition and let the government collapse. What is this all about?