Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Look at the hate on this woman’s face: opposition MK Merav Ben Ari (Yesh Atid) trying to ruin MKs Simcha Rotman’s and Ofir Katz’s victory selfie, July 19, 2023.

The Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee on Wednesday voted 9 to 7 to delete the Reasonability Clause regarding government-level decisions from Israeli courts’ protocol. The bill is now ready for a plenum second and third reading on Sunday which, God willing, will make it the first and exceedingly minute step on the way to accomplishing the Netanyahu government’s ambitious judicial reform. As expected, even this tiny victory was drowned out by the incessant battle cry of “Busha, busha” (Shame, shame) from the losing opposition.

Earlier, while the committee debate was still going, another riot broke out, when several advisers to the opposition MKs barged into the committee chamber and verbally attacked Chairman Simcha Rothman and other coalition members.


President Itzhak Herzog promised a joint session of Congress Wednesday that Israeli democracy is still as resilient as always, despite the rowdy clashes of the past six months. Many in Israel are not so sure anymore. Indeed, Ynet reporter and TV host Attila Somfalvi who has become one of the most aggressive voices on the left in Israel, tweeted in response to Herzog’s speech, above the video from Congress:

“Cut and save: this is the passage that will accompany Herzog from this day to the end of his days. While the country is torn apart, pilots stop flying, millions are anxious, a minister threatens the AG like a mafia don, Netanyahu’s supporters wish to burn Jews, the economy is in peril, and Netanyahu sets fire to everything – Herzog promises that everything is fine in the burning house. Debate, really. There’s a debate.”

Out on the streets, the protests continue on Thursday, reminding some Israelis of the pre-1948 days, when one was afraid to travel on the open roads for fear of Arab gang attacks. And for the majority of Israelis, the anarchists have turned from admirable resisters to pests who make every workday a living hell of hours spent stuck in traffic while boomers and trust fund babies block your highway, your major intersection, your entrance to government buildings, even your favorite restaurant when a right-wing celebrity is spotted dining there and dozens of angry zombies rush in on them.

The amendment that was approved by the committee reads:

Basic Law Bill: The Judiciary (Amendment 5) (Reasonability Clause)
The amended item 15:
1. In the Basic Law: The Judiciary, in item 15, the following clause (D) will be added:
“(D1) Despite what is said in this basic law, whoever has the authority to judge, including the Supreme Court when it convenes as the High Court of Justice, will not discuss the reasonability of a decision of the government, the prime minister, or any other minister, as well as other elected officials as determined in the law, and will not issue a ruling regarding any one of them in this matter as stated.”

The explanatory notes accompanying the bill say: “Regarding the use of the reasonability clause in this context, especially applying the reasonability clause to decisions of the elected echelon, it has been argued, among other things, that deciding the balance of values among the various considerations regarding an administrative decision should be the domain of elected officials and not the court.”

On Wednesday night, national Camp Chairman Benny Gantz, who last month blew up the talks at the president’s residence, had a sudden change of heart. In a last-minute appeal, most likely written by his savvy political and media advisors (they also write for him what he thinks, many claim), called on the coalition to return to the talks he had walked out of, and reach an agreement on a more balanced reasonability clause. Gantz announced, “I have no faith in Netanyahu, but the states of Israel are at stake.”

All Gantz asked for in return for adding his party’s vote to an altered bill was veto power on all future judicial reform legislation (And a hardboiled egg, the Marx brothers would have suggested).

The Likud politely rejected Gantz’s proposal.


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