Thursday, March 30, 2023

Israel sinks into a crisis of regime

An almost immediate and radical end of inadmissibility. This is what the government coalition did, which totally refused the counter-proposal, made Wednesday evening by the President of the State, Isaac Herzog, to the government’s judicial reform project, which has undermined the country since the beginning. January.

Isaac Herzog did two things at the same time: he gave a very solemn and very alarmist speech and, at the same time, published a detailed text which, point by point, presents an alternative concocted by a number of experts. In essence, it is a question of establishing a balance of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The latter being considered too intrusive by the current majority, which wants to strengthen the power of the legislature, which is in the hands of the executive.

Risk of a “civil war”

The president stressed the risk of a “civil war”, including in the ranks of the army, where several groups of soldiers, pilots, officers have called in recent days for “insubordination” and that he will do everything what is in his power to prevent “this from happening”. In this case, its power is limited. But he can refuse to sign laws if the government’s initial judicial reform completes the parliamentary process; an extreme option in the Israeli political system where, in principle, this signature is purely formal. This would be a further step in the current crisis.

So far, the coalition has neither interrupted nor even slowed down the parliamentary pace of adoption of its reform. The government’s objective is to get it over with before the parliamentary recess at the end of March. The president specified that his project was a basis for discussion which was to take place within the Knesset itself.

“I did not vote for this”

However, a few minutes after its intervention and the publication of its proposals, the coalition opposed a total refusal. “The country’s president’s proposal means the complete reversal of necessary changes in the judicial system. It is one-sided, biased and unacceptable,” the statement said. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said that “the people have chosen to reform the judicial system. And, with God’s help, it will pass. An affirmation to put into perspective. On the one hand, the victory of this coalition last November is based on a difference of 30,000 votes, or 0.6% of voters. On the other hand, many voters of Likud, the party of Benjamin Netanyahu, are opposed to what is happening.

“I’m worried, I voted Likud as usual, but I didn’t vote for this. Me, I voted against the high cost of living and for security, ”notes a civil servant secretary in a ministry on condition of anonymity. Among Likud MKs, some are calling for a pause and dialogue with the opposition. But four members of the coalition would have to refuse to vote for the reform to block things. For the moment, only Youli Edelstein, former speaker of the Knesset, did not participate in the vote on one of the laws at first reading on Monday. In the meantime, a new day of protest is taking place this Thursday across the country, especially on the main roads.


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