In true Israeli fashion (after more than a day of heated debate, with last-minute negotiations and demonstrations outside), parliament approved the first heavy-handed judicial reform bill introduced by President Benjamin Netanyahu last January that resulted in 30 consecutive weeks of mass demonstrations.
The rule takes away from the Supreme Court the power to overturn decisions of government, ministers or elected public officials that it deems unreasonable. This is one of the legal filters approved by the court in a country without a constitution (It is guided by a series of basic laws that have been developed over the yearsIn which Parliament elects the Prime Minister. The opposition sees the Supreme Court as the guarantor of the separation of powers and right, as an ideological and interventionist body.
After it was approved in the second reading, the opposition MPs began chanting: “Shame,” and left the plenary session, to be absent from the third and final reading. 64 deputies from the coalition The government, made up of Netanyahu’s party (Likud) with the ultra-Orthodox and ultra-nationalists, voted for it, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who was negotiating an agreement and Last March, she distanced herself from the initiative. “It is the first step in a historic process,” he said after Justice Minister and chief architect of the reform, Yariv Levin. Finance chief Bezalel Smotrich called on the opposition to agree on the “next steps” of the legislative package in the fall parliamentary session.
Opposition leader and former prime minister, Yair Lapid, responded that he would keep up the pressure: “What happened today is not democracy, it is a clear violation of the rules of the game. […] You cannot depersonalize Israel. It is not a victory for the coalition, but a defeat for Israeli democracy.” And the President of the United States, Joe Biden, had asked Netanyahu in the past few hours to “not rush” to implement the reform.
The talks continued between the seats of deputies from one side to the other until the last minute. Netanyahu spoke a lot on the phone inside the plenum, which he arrived the morning after he was discharged from the hospital, the day after he was released from the hospital. They implanted a pacemaker at the age of 73.
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The president, Isaac Herzog, tried to forge a consensus at the last minute to mitigate the overriding reasonableness and extend the rest of the reform package. He issued a statement at noon stressing that Israel was in a “national emergency” that required shared responsibility. We are working against the clock, in every possible way, to find a solution. He added that the infrastructure for a possible understanding exists, but there are still disagreements that require the different parties to show responsibility.
Voting began after Lapid announced the failure of the agreement attempt. He criticized, “With this government, it is impossible to reach agreements that protect Israeli democracy.” The text was approved on the first reading on the eleventh, then the opposition tried to stop it in vain, by submitting nearly 28 thousand amendments to the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.
Shops are closed
An unknown is degree of discontent which will generate approval. The vote took place amid street protests. After a symbolic march from Tel Avivand other types of stress. The Business Forum announced the closure of malls and stores, and many high-tech companies (a sector heavily involved in protests against reform) allowed their employees to attend demonstrations instead of working. The shekel weakened and the TA-35 stock index fell 1%. next to, More than 10,000 reservists from the armed forces In recent days they have threatened to stop wearing military uniforms if the reform continues.
Police used water cannons to disperse a group of demonstrators who chained themselves and blocked access to parliament. Others were able to cross a fence erected by the security forces to prevent them from reaching the House of Representatives. In general, the general atmosphere was waiting, and the main demonstration is scheduled for a later time.
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