Following the lead of the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, members of the Israeli government coalition have voiced their disagreement with the president’s ‘road map’ for an alternative judicial reform, while members of the opposition parliament have praised the president for trying to restore normalcy.
Some coalition members have taken the prime minister’s stance and denounced the suggested legal revision in a number of posts posted on their social media accounts.
This idea is “a concept of the president, not adopted in any way by a coalition party,” the cabinet secretary Yossi Fuchs has emphasized. Miri Regev, the transport minister, has gone farther, calling Herzog’s proposal “an affront to the intelligence of the public.”
Amir Ohana, the President of the Knesset, used softer language and emphasized that, although he believes that he is “The president’s proposal “does not provide an answer to the ills of the relationship between the judiciary, the Knesset, and the government,” according to “someone who appreciates and respects” the president.
The Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, has also remarked his support for the president, although he has expressed his criticism of the proposed reform: “I have great respect for the president, but a plan to change the results of the elections, which the government perpetuates undemocratic of the jurists and accepts all the concessions of the opponents of the reform, cannot be a basis for compromise’.
Herzog is backed by opponents and past prime ministers.
On the other hand, the leader of the Israeli opposition and former prime minister of the country, Yair Lapid, has thanked the president and has asked to do “all possible to avoid an economic, social and security breakdown that significantly harms national resilience”.
The danger to Israeli democracy still exists, and we will keep fighting for a robust, liberal, democratic, Jewish Israel as long as the government keeps pushing for extremist and predatory legislation, he declared.
Like Herzog, former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has pushed the collation to embrace the reform proposal “to avoid a civil war”, adding that in this struggle “there are no winners or losers”.
In a similar vein, Gideon Sa’ar, the head of the New Hope party, has endorsed Herzog’s idea and chastised Netanyahu for rejecting it, accusing the latter of exhibiting “a lack of leadership and historical myopia.”
“All responsibility will rest on those who lose the opportunity to prevent a divide in the people of Israel at this perilous hour,” he continued, adding that “the president’s program as a whole is broad, balanced, and essentially decent.”
Benny Gantz, the head of the National Unity party and a former defense minister, has also welcomed Herzog’s initiative: “I urge Netanyahu and all political establishment parties to act honorably at this crucial hour by embracing the plan and publicizing it right away.
a proposal for consensus-building judicial reform
Herzog’s alternative judicial reform plan calls for a number of modifications. Eleven people would make up the selection committee for judges: four from the government and coalition and three from the judiciary, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court and two other justices. Two members of the opposition and two additional individuals nominated by the Minister of Justice with the approval of the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court would round out the body.
A majority of seven out of the total of eleven members would be required for appointments to the Supreme Court. Hence, contrary to what the newspaper “The Times of Israel” claimed, the coalition would not have “de facto” exclusive authority over the nomination of judges.
Similar to how any amendment to the election legislation would need the agreement of 80 deputies at each reading in order to pass, passing a law in Parliament would require four readings, with the first three receiving 61 votes and the fourth receiving 80. As a result, the laws would be more constitutionally protected but not be susceptible to court review.
Nevertheless, unlike the current measure put forth by Netanyahu, Herzog’s plan does not contain any language or clauses that would allow the Supreme Court to strike down legislation that has been adopted by Parliament.
An attempt to reorganize the appointments so that the ruling coalition controls the elections for these judicial bodies is one of the measures that the so-called annulment clause to the Supreme Court is added to.
Israel is “on the edge of a civil war,” according to the Israeli president. According to the newspaper “The Jerusalem Post,” he declared that the chasm is now within our grasp, 75 years after Israel’s founding.