June 8, 2023

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Israel is in dire straits and warns of military separation..so what’s the story?

Protests in Israel against draft law to reform judiciary (Reuters)

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Since the Fourth of January, Israel has been experiencing one of its worst political and judicial crises.

As tens of thousands of Israelis protested again Saturday in Tel Aviv against a controversial plan to reform the judiciary, Defense Minister Yoav Galant called for the government’s plan to be frozen. Security.

In the first clear public outcry from a prominent member of the government, he warned against “a worsening internal division that is seeping into the military and security establishment at a clear, direct and real risk to Israel’s security.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the far-right coalition is under trial on corruption charges, which he has denied and, under pressure from others in his ruling coalition, wants to move forward with a bill this week. Selection of Judges.

What is controversial about this law?

Netanyahu is seeking to introduce radical changes to the judicial system, especially since many on the right in Israel view the Supreme Court as leftist, elitist and too meddlesome in political affairs.

Therefore, the government is proposing changes that would limit the powers of this court to rule against the legislative and executive powers, while giving parliamentarians more power to appoint judges, which currently requires the approval of politicians and caucus-member judges. .

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These various current proposals would change that, giving the government more leverage.

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Years in prison?!

However, some opponents believe Netanyahu’s motives are personal, especially as he faces 3 corruption charges.

They also believe that his goal is to dissolve the Supreme Court so as not to face the prospect of years in jail!

And another faction of them insists that Netanyahu’s nationalist allies want to weaken the Supreme Court in order to build more settlements on land where the Palestinians seek to establish their state.

Benjamin Netanyahu (France Press Archives)

They also point out that ultra-Orthodox parties in the coalition are seeking to pass legislation exempting their sect from serving in the military, which they fear will spoil this if the court’s powers are not curtailed.

Disastrous consequences

In addition, some critics of the bill believe that if approved by the courts, the changes it would introduce to the judiciary would weaken and hand the government absolute power, endangering civil liberties with disastrous consequences for the economy and relations with Western allies. , according to Reuters.

Viewing the judiciary as unindependent would remove one of Israel’s main lines of defense in international legal proceedings.

What then?

But despite all these objections and demonstrations, the ruling coalition led by Netanyahu insists on final approval of the changes by next April 2, when the Knesset begins its spring break.

Debate on some changes was postponed, while others were approved by the Knesset’s plenum in the first of three readings required for approval until parliament reconvenes on April 30.

But especially after calls for rebellion from the Likud party, there are growing fears of a serious real secession even from the military!

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