Israel: Opposition rejects judicial reform negotiations
A proposed government plan for judicial reform in Israel has been rejected by opposition leaders. The opposition has also accused the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, of blocking the formation of a key judicial body.
On Wednesday evening, Benny Gantz, a member of the Israeli Knesset, accused the Israeli prime minister and his coalition of trying to “dismantle Israeli society”, after the government tried to impact an important vote to appoint lawmakers to Israel’s Judicial Selection Committee, which is composed of nine members.
Yair Lapid, the Leader of the Opposition, also said that Benjamin Netanyahu tried to block the formation of the important judicial body. However, the Israeli Prime Minister said that the opposition tried to affect negotiations “from the start.”
The verbal spat created chaos in Israeli politics. Lawmakers voted to appoint two politicians to the Judicial Selection Committee, which is made up of the Minister of Justice (Chair), a cabinet minister, the President of the Supreme Court, two other justices of the Supreme Court, two Members of Knesset, and two representatives of the Israel Bar Association.
Coalition members argued that the judicial body gives too much power to the opposition and unelected officials, including lawyers and serving judges.
Reportedly, Netanyahu’s coalition wanted to appoint two members from the ruling coalition. Earlier, Knesset member Karine Elharrar secured a place on the body. However, the government failed to appoint the second candidate.
If a second candidate is not chosen for the body, a fresh vote must take place within 30 days.
Earlier, the planned judicial overhaul led to huge demonstrations across Israel. Earlier this year, many Israelis took to the streets in Israel to protest against the judicial overhaul plan that would give the Israeli government power to appoint people to the Supreme Court of Israel.
Later on, Netanyahu said that he would make planned judicial overhaul reforms “via broad consensus.”