The Israeli president calls for a halt to judicial reform after protest


Israel’s President Isaac Herzog urged the government to put an end to the hotly debated judicial overhaul on Monday, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister for objecting to the change, setting off large-scale street demonstrations.

Herzog posted on Twitter, “I call on you to suspend the legislative process immediately for the sake of the unity of the people of Israel and the sake of duty.”

The head of state, whose role is mostly ceremonial and who is supposed to be above politics, issued the warning to emphasize the alarm the divisions the measures have caused. Following Netanyahu’s revelation that he had fired the Defense Minister, thousands of protesters descended into the streets of Israel’s cities in a dramatic night of demonstrations.

The government’s major revamp of the legal system had sparked a significant rift in Israeli society, Gallant had warned in a televised appeal the day before, endangering the military and the country’s security.

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Gallant’s ouster has thrown Netanyahu’s national-religious coalition into crisis three months after it assumed power as one of the most right-wing governments in the nation’s history, all as the security situation in the occupied West Bank gets worse.

Mass demonstrations have been taking place against the proposed judicial reform, which would give the executive power over Supreme Court nominees and allow the government to overturn court decisions with a simple parliamentary majority.

Opponents view the revamp as eroding legal checks and balances and posing a threat to Israel’s democracy, despite the government’s claims that it is necessary to restrain activist judges and create a proper balance between the elected government and the judiciary.

This week, the parliament is expected to approve a bill that would strengthen political influence over judge appointments as a vital part of the reform package. Netanyahu, who is currently on trial for corruption charges that he denies, has so far vowed to continue with the project. He’s anticipated to speak later on Monday.

In addition to facing criticism from the business community, the initiative has alarmed Israel’s friends. The United States reiterated appeals to protect democratic values while expressing its grave worry about the events of Sunday and its recognition of the urgent need for compromise.



Salma Hussain is an MBBS doctor who loves to write on health-related topics. Apart from this, writing on sports and entertainment topics is her hobby. She is playing the role of an important writer in Arab Post.

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