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Netanyahu: ‘There Won’t Be a Civil War’ Over Judicial Reform

By 08/01/2023 12:01 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, promised NBC News on Monday that there wouldn’t be any violence involved in the discussion in his country over judicial reform.

“A civil war won’t break out. I promise you that,” the prime minister said to Rafael Sanchez, a foreign correspondent for the American network, in his office in Jerusalem.

But he went on to say, “I think that correcting the imbalance in Israel’s democracy, where the judiciary has basically arrogated to itself nearly all the powers of the executive branch and the legislature, yes, I think it is important to do it.”

Following the passage of a crucial piece of judicial reform legislation by his government last week, the prime minister has been giving a number of interviews to foreign media.

A change to Israel’s Basic Law: The Judiciary, passed on July 24, prohibits judges from using “reasonableness” as a ground for overturning decisions taken by the Cabinet, ministers, and “other elected officials as set by law.”

When the dust settles, “I think people will see that Israel’s democracy has been strengthened, not weakened, and I think people’s fears, that have been stoked and whipped up, will subside, and they will see that Israel is just as democratic as it was before, and even more democratic,” said Netanyahu on Monday.

Esther Hayut, the president of Israel’s Supreme Court, announced on Monday that all 15 of the judges would meet in September to examine eight requests to revoke the amendment.

The Movement for Civil Democracy, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, and the Israel Bar Association are some of the petitioners.

The hearing is set to begin at 10:00 a.m.on September 12, three days before the High Holidays began. The administration will have 10 extra days to provide their reply.

It will be the first case that a 15-member panel has presided over in the court’s 75-year history.

When asked by Sanchez if he would abide by a Supreme Court decision nullifying the amendment, Netanyahu responded that he hoped it would not occur, pointing out that it would signify the Supreme Court “turning on itself” by doing so.

The Basic Law is a body of laws that the Supreme Court has determined to be a substitute for a written constitution.

The Basic Laws, which are the closest thing we have to a constitution, are respected by the Supreme Court, and Israeli administrations follow its rulings. Both ideals should be upheld, and I hope we do, added Netanyahu.


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