Minister Yariv Levin and MK Simcha Rothman: “After many days of discussions, it can be clearly said that there are broad agreements at hand, ones that will not neuter the reform of its essentials and will enjoy a broad consensus. We will continue to promote the legislation as planned, and will continue to try to reach broad agreements just as we have done in recent months.”
Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Yariv Levin, and Chairman of the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee Simcha Rothman on Tuesday morning released a statement saying: “We are happy for the president’s clarification that what was published as ‘the president’s outline’ is not his opinion nor is it being issued on his behalf. Otherwise, as would be clear to any reader, the alleged ‘outline’ constitutes the sterilization of the reform of its fundamental content.”
Levin and Rothman are attempting to stop the onslaught of wishful-thinking compromise ideas that began to flood the airwaves and the press Tuesday morning before those ideas pick up momentum and sweep President Herzog in their wake.
This is why practically the news reports on said “compromise outline” conclude with the president’s statement that “this morning’s reports do not reflect the president’s opinion nor are they made on his behalf. It must be clarified and stressed that this is not the outline of the president. It is one of many proposals that have been submitted in recent weeks by researchers and academics from various institutes. The president has not yet formulated a final outline and once it is formulated the president will present it to the citizens of Israel.”
Ma’ariv pundit Ben Kaspit has been out front Tuesday morning, feeding his newspaper with supposed presidential ideas, such as the coalition giving up the override clause entirely, or upping the required number of votes to as much as 70 MKs; making it harder to pass Basic Laws as such; and a narrowing down of the Reasonability argument whereby judges can revoke perfectly legal government action on the argument that it violates the judges’ moral judgment.
Another proposal, according to Kaspit, whose most recent big project was a lengthy and favorable interview with Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, and who reported that he, Kaspit, started attending the protest demonstrations: the committee to elect judges will have 11 members, and the current dispute over it is that Levin wants 6 votes to elect a judge, compared to the opposition’s 7.
Back to Levin’s and Rothman’s Tuesday morning announcement, they added: “There is a broad consensus, both in the public, in academia, in high-tech, in the economy, and among the members of the Knesset on the need for broad and comprehensive reform and on its fundamental principles.
“After many days of discussions, it can be clearly said that there are broad agreements at hand, ones that will not neuter the reform of its essentials and will enjoy a broad consensus. We will continue to promote the legislation as planned, and will continue to try to reach broad agreements just as we have done in recent months.”
The Voice of Anarchy, formerly known as Haaretz, dedicated its above-the-fold story Tuesday morning to a commentary by Yossi Verter, headlined: “Before Herzog promotes negotiations, Netanyahu must reach an agreement with those who kidnapped him.” It’s a perfect rendition of the kettle and frying pan calling each other black, seeing as Lapid et al have been kidnapped by the extreme left weeks ago.
“The leaders of the opposition who understand that the momentum is on their side not only in the intensifying protest but also in all areas of life, know that they must not blink in the face of the government,” Verter wrote. Good thing he didn’t write “the Occupation.”
Accordingly, on Monday afternoon, Lapid and Benny Gantz released an unexpected joint statement that made it clear Gantz was back to taking his marching orders from Lapid and stopping all attempts to reach an agreement with the coalition on the judicial reform proposals (Lapid Shuts Down Gantz’s Behind-the-Scenes Discussions on Judicial Reform).
Labor Chair Merav Michaeli said Tuesday morning about the president’s compromise: “The answer is no. It is irrelevant.”
Which is also what Merav Michaeli and the Labor party are fast becoming.
Here’s the bottom line: the last day of the Knesset’s winter session is March 27. If there is no final ratification of the first two judicial reform items by then––changing the composition of the committee to elect judges, and barring the high court from annulling constitutional laws––the momentum would be lost and the entire reform would be in mortal danger.
Start the 20-day countdown.