Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) delivered a statement to the media on Motzei Shabbos and called for a temporary halt to the judicial reform legislation.
“In the last few weeks, something dramatic has occurred,” Gallant said. “I meet the commanders and the soldiers and I hear the voices coming from the field – and I’m worried. The events taking place in Israeli society don’t skip over the IDF. The source of our strength is eroding. I’m saying in the clearest way possible – the rift is penetrating the IDF and the security agencies…this is a clear, immediate and tangible danger to the security of the state. I will not lend my hand to this.”
Gallant added: “I’m a right-wing person, a member of the Likud movement, I believe in its principles and am committed to its values, which place the State of Israel above all else. We need a change in the judicial system. The fabric of relations between the judiciary and the government and the Knesset requires balance, this will strengthen democracy and increase public trust. But major national changes must be made via dialogue.”
Gallant called for the legislation to be suspended until after Yom Ha’Atzmaut: “At this time we must halt the process so that we can sit down and talk.”
Gallant was scheduled to speak to the press on Thursday evening but canceled the press conference after meeting with Netanyahu. Gallant told Netanyahu during the meeting that since he is responsible for the security establishment, he must ensure that the army is in top shape. Gallant is also concerned about how Israel’s enemies are interpreting what is happening in the country and by the significant damage to Israel’s political and security relations with the US, Europe, and Gulf states.
Netanyahu asked Gallant to allow him several days to come up with a solution. Meanwhile, Netanyahu held a press conference and confirmed that the judicial reform will continue.
It should be noted that Netanyahu, currently on his way back from London, was not in the country when Gallant spoke to the media.
Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter also made a statement on Motzei Shabbos calling for the judicial reform to be suspended until after Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Likud MKs Dovid Bitan and Yuli Edelstein previously made statements supporting the suspension of the reform.
If all four Likud members mentioned above refuse to vote in favor of the reform, the coalition will lack the majority of 61 votes to advance the legislation.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)