Israel’s President Isaac Herzog delivered a special address to the nation at 8 pm Sunday (Feb. 12) from the Official Presidential Residence on the issue of judicial reform, which has prompted ongoing attempts by the woke left to overturn last November’s election.
“אנו כאן ברגע גורלי לדמוקרטיה הישראלית, ולכן אין כאן מקום לפשרות” – #הארכיון_לא_שוכח את @Isaac_Herzog מסביר במליאת הכנסת כי “אין פשרות על עקרונות היסוד”: “מדינת יהודים שמבוססת על דמוקרטיה בריאה חופשית וליברלית, בעלת מערכת משפט עצמאית ולא מאוימת”@rothmar @netanyahu @JusticeGov pic.twitter.com/rl6BqzPfbZ
— ערוץ כנסת (@KnessetT) February 12, 2023
In his remarks, Herzog warned the country risks a “constitutional and social collapse” and said he was hoping for a “broad agreement” on proposals to reform the judiciary.
“We will all lose, the State of Israel will lose,” he said, adding that the family of one of the victims of the recent deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem had asked him to “do everything, everything to stop the madness.” Herzog’s hands were shaking as he spoke.
Herzog spoke that the Knesset
Herzog proposed his own compromise on the Judicial Reform:
- A Basic law of the legislation that will regulate ordinary laws and Basic laws and the relations between the branches. “Basic laws should only be passed after more than just a simple majority of the Knesset passes it, but a super majority of some sort based and with the broad support of all parties.”
- There will be no judicial review of Basic laws. Ordinary laws will be overruled by special majority of Supreme Court judges.
- There will be a Knesset override law.
- The number of judges will be increased.
- The composition of the committee for the selection of Supreme Court judges will reflect equality between the branches. 3-3-3 for the branches and two more public representatives to be agreed between the Minister of Justice and the Supreme Court President. This works out to five coalition members, four judges and opposition members and two mutually-agreed upon public representatives.
- The court’s “Reasonableness” usage will be limited.
Herzog asked that the government not bring the Judicial Reform proposals to its first vote in the Knesset.
In their initial reactions to the speech, the leftwing parties have begun declaring that the condition for them starting any negotiations on the President’s proposal is freezing the government’s proposal and discussions and not bringing it to a vote.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Justice Minister Yariv Levin have not yet responded or publicly reacted to the speech.
MK Simcha Rothman, chairman of the Law and Costitution committee that is running the discussions on the Judicial Reform bills said that Herzog’s demands to stop or delay the proposals is an opposition move, and added that the government does not have unlimited time to do things, and therefore, to stop the law is an attempt to stop the government.
Justice Minister Yariv Levin said there are positive elements to the president’s proposal and that talks should begin right away. But to avoid the talks being used as a delaying tactic by the opposition, the legislation would go forward. Levin said there would be time to conclude negotiations before the second or third vote.
One of the core problems that Herzog’s proposal still doesn’t resolve is that the Supreme Court justices will continue to have outsized influence in selecting their replacements instead of the elected representatives of the people.
Overview of the current situation:
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu was given a strong mandate during the November election — in which his right-wing bloc won a definitive 64 seats — to reform Israel’s long-broken judicial system, among other issues. Democracy in action.
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Opposition leaders who were unable to accept their loss have since continued attempting to incite the public against the badly-needed reforms, with weekly demonstrations held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, and with appeals to the Biden Administration to intervene — a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty — egged on by the blatantly anti-Israel New York Times.
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Extreme elements are becoming increasingly vocal — and vicious — and the long-promised reforms are being made the centerpiece of what appears to be an growing effort to incite anarchy in the Jewish State.
Last week, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, petitioned the Supreme Court to declare Prime Minister Netanyahu ‘incapacitated’ for his involvement in the judicial reform.
Unsurprisingly, this past Friday the The High Court in response ordered Attorney general Gali Baharav-Miara and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond within a month to the petition.
The fact that the Court validated the petition is proof the reforms are desperately needed.
Israel’s government coalition is set to begin voting Monday on the first provisions of the reform, while tens of thousands of people are expected to demonstrate outside of the Knesset.