Following a lengthy overnight discussion by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the head of the coalition parties overnight Sunday, and after three months of unprecedented protests and threats of army refusal across the country, the coalition on Monday morning presented a moderated judicial reform and the freezing of the majority of the legislation until after Yom Haatzmaut in over two months.
According to the new plan, only the law to change the composition of the Committee for the Selection of Judges; the Incapacitation Law, which prevents the Attorney-General from declaring a prime minister as “incapacitated” [unfit for office]; and the Deri Law 2 that prevents the Supreme Court from interfering with ministerial appointments, will be submitted for approval in the second and third readings in the remaining two weeks of the Knesset’s winter session.
In addition, the law regarding the selection of Supreme Court Judges was significantly moderated – the original plan calls for the ruling coalition to appoint four judges during its term and the new plan allows it to select only two judges, with additional selections requiring the vote of at least one opposition MK and one judge on the committee.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office stated that “the proposal that will be submitted for approval will bring about a historic and substantial change in the Committee for the Selection of Judges. For the first time, the automatic veto of the judges on the committee will be revoked, allowing balance and diversity in the composition of the Supreme Court. The representatives of the Bar Association will be removed from the committee.”
The announcement included a call by the heads of the coalition parties to the opposition to “take advantage of the month-long recess period in order to hold a real dialogue to reach an understanding regarding the articles of legislation that will be brought for approval after the recess. We are reaching out to everyone who genuinely cares about the unity of the nation and the desire to reach an agreement.”
The announcement of the moderated reform plan was slammed by many members of the coalition as well as – predictably – by the members of the opposition.
Likud MK Tali Gottlieb stated: “There’s nothing new under the sun. You voted for the right, the right won, and you received the left.”
A senior Likud activist wrote: “You reached out. You conceded on major principles. You disappointed your constituents. You were hit with much anger from your supporters. And the other side still spit in your face. They will continue to destroy the country because the fight is not about reform. It’s about power. It’s not too late yet. Return to the original outline!”
Right-wing voters wrote harsh messages on social media such as: “The public won’t ever forgive you. “The Likud lost the street” and “it’s preferable to topple the government and go to new elections.”
The leaders of the ongoing protests stated: “This is not a moderation but a declaration of war by the Israeli government on its citizens and democracy. The legislation they are trying to pass is the first chapter in turning Israel into a dictatorship, which will introduce judges from the government – judges who judge like in Hungary and Russia.
“It is mandatory to oppose this dangerous legislation, and if it is indeed promoted, we demand that the leaders of the opposition cut off all contact with the Israeli government, not hold any talks with it and boycott the votes on the law. This is an illegitimate government and we must not cooperate with it.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)
A good start but clearly not enough. There is a middle ground but there is still a lot of work to be done. Kol hakovod to Bibi and for recognizing reality and not being held captive by the right-wing zealots in his coalition.
1. Changing the method of selection of the judiciary to end the left-wing (circa the 1950s elite) domination will accomplish most of the changes. Remember that using the 1950s (or better, the late 1960s model), the “Right wing” (Herut, Liberalim, Dati Leumi and Hareidim) that were less than 40 seats back them, are around 80 seats now (so much that most of the left-wing opposition today, are people who were part of the right-wing opposition in the socialist-dominated Kenesset in the 1950s).
2. It needs to be remembered that while the left-wing ultra-secularists who dominated Israeli politics during the first 20 years of the Medinah are now insignificant politically, they still have a stranglehold over the economy and especially the militarily significant tech sector. Short of the type of purge that the French and Russians did after their revolutions, Israel is stuck with an entrenched upper class whose removal could cripple the economy and threaten the ability of the military to defend the country.
3. While we would benefit if Israel were to democratize to a greater extent (i.e. remove the anti-democratic judiciary from political power), compromise is necessary in order to keep from destroying the country.
Right-Wing Voters Enraged & they so absolutely should be
You’re being your usual disingenuous woke self for a change. You could care less about Bibi and the fact that the right wing handily won the election. You just want him to capitulate so the coalition falls as a result.
Just stick to observing your tree-hugging, LGBTQIA+ religion and stop pretending to know what’s good for Israel.
You can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people some of the time