Conservative commentator and Daily Wire host Ben Shapiro commented on Monday on the battle in Israel over the government’s judicial reform plan.
“The judicial reform fight in Israel is a proxy for the actual battle, which is really over the changing nature of Israel’s political landscape,” Shapiro wrote in the first of a series of tweets.
“The Right’s case is procedural. The current coalition is fighting to prevent the Israeli judiciary from acting as a de facto dictatorship, selecting its own successors and providing few or no limits to its authority. This has been the case since Aharon Barak’s ‘judicial revolution’ of 1995. And that was a result of the rising power of both Likud voters and religious voters. The Right is correct about the judiciary’s overweening power, and the insanity of an Attorney-General who can act without actual authority. Many in the center and even on the Left agree with these critiques.
“The Left’s case is consequentialist. They’re fighting against a loss of control in pure power terms. That’s what Barak’s judicial reform was about in 1995, and that’s what the current fight is about now. The Left sees the judiciary as a bulwark against a rising demographic tide that places a lot of power in the hands of groups that disagree with the secularism of the Left, as well as groups that disproportionately do not serve in the military and receive a lot of social welfare.
“This isn’t a fight between democracy versus authoritarianism. If anything, the Right is calling for more democracy and has an elected coalition, while the Left is using extra-legal measures like shutting down airports and highways to guarantee minority protections.
“In the end, this situation is really about Israel negotiating its future. The only way to move forward, as nearly everyone will agree in principle, is with more procedural power-sharing, including some judicial reform, combined with more compromise in terms of actual policy. The alternative is a pitched battle in which the Left-wing and secular-oriented try to hold back the rising tide using non-electoral means, and in which the Right tries to ram through its agenda via electoral means.
“That second option is what we’re seeing right now. And it’s untenable. It leads to a loss of trust in the value of electoral democracy from the coalition voters, and a belief that pressure from outside the system is the most effective tactic from opposition voters. If the first option is to be pursued, that means negotiation and talking and incrementalism. The question is whether any of the political leaders are willing to do it.”
Shapiro previously addressed the subject of the Israeli government’s judicial reform – in a more factually-based report – in January.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)