Despite massive resistance, Israel’s parliament has passed a core element of the controversial judicial reform. After days of debate, 64 out of 120 MPs voted in favor of a draft law that restricts the Supreme Court’s scope for action.
The opposition boycotted the vote. The law is part of a larger package. Critics see it as a threat to Israel’s democracy.
What is the impact of the reform?
With the new law, it will no longer be possible for the Supreme Court to assess a decision by the government or individual ministers as “inappropriate”. Critics fear that this will encourage corruption and thus the arbitrary filling of important posts and layoffs. The Netanyahu government, on the other hand, accuses the judiciary of interfering too much in political decisions.
The State of Israel does not have a written constitution and is instead based on a set of fundamental laws. Therefore, the Supreme Court is of particular importance in upholding the rule of law and human rights.
For more than six months, the project has divided large sections of Israeli society. Thousands of people regularly take to the streets against a weakening of the judiciary. Negotiations, even at the last minute, about a compromise were unsuccessful.
denials of service announced
Recently, resistance within the military has also increased. More than ten thousand reservists have announced that they will no longer appear on duty if some of the controversial plans are approved. There were also such threats from business and other parts of society.
Netanyahu’s coalition is the most right-wing the country has ever had. The changes in the law are also being made under pressure from Netanyahu’s strictly religious coalition partners. According to experts, however, they could also play into Netanyahu’s hands in a corruption process that has been ongoing against him for some time.
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