Simcha Rothman's Revolution

Man of the Year in Politics: Simcha Rothman's Revolution

In the past year, the legal issue threatened to divide Israeli society, and at the center of the events stood more prominently than anyone else Simcha Rothman - a lawyer turned politician - who did not hesitate to stand by his beliefs, despite the heavy price

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90)

Srugim's Person of the Year for 5783 (תשפ"ג): The Person of the Year in politics is Simcha Rothman. There aren't many ordinary politicians who manage to become one of the well-known names in the country in a short time, someone who is admired by some and despised by others – but one thing is for sure, no one can remain indifferent to him.

The past year was marked by attempts to reform the legal system. Despite the fact that the one who initiated the plan and presented it to the public shortly after the government's swearing-in was Minister Yariv Levin, the leading figure in this effort is actually Knesset member Simcha Rothman from the religious Zionist movement.

Rothman, a lawyer by profession and an expert in constitutional law, was appointed as the head of the Constitution Committee, a role that placed him at the forefront of legislative promotion, and it seems he enjoys every moment of it.

Rothman chairing the Constitution Committee (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

For many years, Simcha Rothman has been trying to influence the balance of power between the authorities in Israel, and now, with the position he holds within the Knesset, he is using it to its fullest extent.

Rothman did not flinch, despite the rift in the nation

Rothman turned the discussions of the Constitution Committee into his central stage, often allowing the same 'power' to go to his head. Instead of respecting the position and the weight of responsibility, his circus took over, and he forgot that he is supposed to lead it, not let the inherent biases run wild.

Commotion in the Constitution Committee, July 2022 (Video: Knesset Channel)

Among the various approaches within the coalition, the chairman of the Constitution Committee, Rotman, chose the most radical and extreme side, as opposed to those who recognized the limits of government power. It seems like he forgot his responsibility towards the Israeli society.

While the streets are raging, public controversy is intensifying, and the national debate threatens to tear the country apart, Simcha Rothman continues almost as usual with his "business as usual" attitude. Even many supporters of the reform felt uncomfortable with his conduct within the committee.

Also, his decision to confront the Supreme Court judges this week in the debate against the Clause of Reasonability law is consistent with Rothman's image: a leading player in the "clash of authorities" story, one who pours more fuel on the fire than being the responsible adult trying to lower the flames.

Esther Hayut and Simcha Rothman (Photos: Yonatan Sindel, Avshalom Sassoni/Flash 90)

It's difficult to estimate how the struggle within Israeli society will end and to what extent the coalition can implement its policies. What is clear is that Knesset member Simcha Rothman will be at every crucial crossroads and will be there in the decision-making battle.


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