Defense Minister of Israel Urges Government To Stop "Judicial Reforms" In Strong Rebuke To Netanyahu
Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand that the planned "reforms" proceed, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has urged the cabinet to halt the contentious judicial overhaul legislation that has caused demonstrations around the nation. His involvement occurred during the eleventh consecutive week of widespread protests by Israelis against the revisions. "My life's work is to ensure Israel's security. I have dealt with Israel's security on a daily basis for the whole of my adult life," said Gallant, a senior assistant to Netanyahu, on Saturday. While he admitted that "unprecedented sentiments of rage, anguish, and disappointment had arisen" among the military as a result of the planned changes to Israel's power structure, he continued to support the need to reform the legal system.
The revisions include giving Parliament the power to overturn Supreme Court rulings, a move that some claim would compromise the judiciary's independence and might be exploited for political purposes. I have repeatedly put my life at danger while wearing the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces. And right now, for the sake of our nation, I am prepared to bear any cost and accept any danger, Gallant said in a speech that was broadcast on television. He said, "I announce loudly and openly, for the sake of Israel's security, for the sake of our boys and girls - the legislative process should be halted," citing the Army's apparent declining morale as harming Israel's security and unity. In light of the continuing judicial reform process, thousands of soldiers, including those in important Army divisions, have asked to cease reporting for reserve service, underlining that it posed a serious threat to Israel's democracy and may convert it into a dictatorship.
"I worry because I can hear their voices. The Israel Defense Forces are not exempt from current events and social problems in Israel (IDF). Unprecedented levels of rage, suffering, and disillusionment have been felt everywhere, according to the Israeli defence minister. Gallant said, "I sense the foundation of our strength disintegrating." "The IDF and security services are being affected by the widening split in our society. The state's security is clearly, right away, and tangibly threatened by this. I'm not going to help with this, he said. Legislators from the Likud party, which is now in power, have been reluctant to criticise the suggested "reforms" up to this point. Thousands of protestors have been taking to the streets in large numbers in response to the action for the last three months out of fear for their fellow party members' retaliation and the possible political implications of rejecting the party leader and his or her viewpoint.
Gallant's forceful appeal, nevertheless, appeared to inspire other responsible party officials, as three more—Yuli Edelstein, David Bitan, and Avi Dichter—came up to make a demand to halt the procedure. Gallant was hailed by Edelstein, who heads the influential Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Knesset (Israel's parliament), for "following the route I've been leading for weeks." "The bulk of the population wants and understands the need for reforms in the legal system, but this must be done with patience, conversation, and open debate to create a wide agreement," he said in a statement. The government won't have the majority needed to enact the plans if the four decide to vote against them. The government's attempts to solidify political control over the appointment of judges and Justice Minister Yariv Levin's proposals to shake up the judiciary by severely curtailing the High Court of Justice's judicial review powers have encountered opposition not only domestically but also internationally, with thousands of Jewish diaspora members protesting during Netanyahu's visits to Italy, Germany, and the UK.
Renowned historian Yuval Noah Harari blamed Netanyahu for "all that is occurring" while speaking at the main gathering on Saturday night in Tel Aviv. You are not an emissary, remarked Harari. Without a doubt, you are not an angel. We continue to recall the pharaoh after two thousand years. And we'll keep you in mind. There won't be any avenues, public spaces, or airports named in your honour. But, we'll describe the guy who unsuccessfully attempted to enslave us. You are surrounded by spineless individuals. Yet we possess a backbone. We refuse to live like serfs. We'll have freedom next year, he said. The Knesset is scheduled to have final readings on legislation next week that many believe aims to cement the executive's authority over the court and make it serve the government; at the same time, protests have reached a climax and the nation seems to be in some degree paralysed.
Israeli society's internal divisions have also become worse lately, with the nation seeming to be mostly split into two enormous blocs over judicial reform. The biggest controversy surrounds the current government coalition's efforts to strengthen political control over the judiciary, despite the coalition's support for several contentious pieces of legislation. Three major proposals are currently being discussed: a move to legislate a "override clause" by which the Knesset can reinstate any law declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court; placing judicial appointments under political control rather than the current hybrid political-professional-judicial appointments panel; and dividing the role of the Attorney General as both the head of the state prosecution and the government's legal adviser.
The contentious measures that have been proposed, according to analysts, are meant to defend Netanyahu, who is on trial in three different cases. However, by resolving each party's concerns, they ultimately serve the interests of everyone in the coalition. Being the target of criticism from across the world, including a reprimand from US President Joe Biden, Netanyahu has come seen as confused and weak, but he has been loath to back away from the suggested "reforms" because of concern for losing control of his governing Likud party.