The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is accused of breaking a conflict of interest agreement meant to keep him from interacting with the country’s judiciary while he is on trial for corruption.
An Israeli good governance group asked the nation’s Supreme Court to punish Netanyahu on Sunday.
The Movement for Quality Government in Israel’s proposal escalates a developing conflict between Prime Minister Netanyahu’s administration and the judiciary, which it attempts to reform in a controversial move that has drawn intense criticism.
Many military and economic officials have spoken out against it, tens of thousands of people have protested, and Israel’s top allies have expressed their reservations.
According to Netanyahu’s administration, the Knesset will vote on the core of the reform, a law giving the ruling coalition final say over all judicial appointments.
Yoav Gallant, the defense minister and a prominent figure in Netanyahu’s Likud party, broke ranks late on Saturday and demanded that the legislation be put on hold.
Gallant emphasized the discord surrounding the idea among military personnel. It remained to be seen if others would follow him.
On Sunday, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, a staunch opposition to the revision, requested that the court order Netanyahu to observe the law and punish him for not doing so with a fine or jail sentence.
It stated that he wasn’t above the law.
Eliad Shraga, the group’s leader, echoed rhetoric Netanyahu and his allies used against protesters opposed to the overhaul: “A prime minister who doesn’t obey the court and the provisions of the law is privileged and an anarchist.” “The prime minister will be compelled to submit to the rules of the law and follow them.”
Following a conflict of interest agreement he must abide by, which the Supreme Court recognized in a decision regarding Netanyahu’s fitness to serve while facing corruption charges, the country’s attorney general has prohibited Netanyahu from directly discussing his government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary.
Instead, Netanyahu’s close ally and Justice Minister Yariv Levin is leading the reform.
Netanyahu, however, claimed on Thursday that he was no longer constrained by the attorney general’s judgment and vowed to intervene in the issue and “mend the rift” in the country after parliament enacted a measure making it more difficult to remove a sitting prime minister.
After that disclosure, Gali Baharav-Miara, the attorney general, cautioned Netanyahu for violating his conflict of interest agreement.
Guy Lurie, a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, a think tank in Jerusalem, claimed that Israel had been thrust into the unknown ground and toward a developing constitutional crisis due to the rapid legal and political developments.