In the event that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s proposed set of judicial reforms is put into effect, a former Israeli prime minister on Sunday called for widespread civil disobedience in his nation.
Ehud Barak said, “Once a government, using the tools of democracy, in order to destroy it from within, and ends up acting in a blatantly illegitimate matter, it is, in my opinion, the obligation of citizens to turn unfortunately toward civil disobedience. ”
He continued: “It is an attack on our democracy’s very essence and soul.”
Tzipi Livni, a former vice prime minister and minister of justice in Israel, and Barak, who was prime minister from 1999 to 2001, appeared on Zakaria’s program.
Barak, who previously served as the military’s chief of staff and served as defense minister, raised the possibility that the Israeli military might refuse to follow orders from the government of Benjamin Netanyahu if it improperly seized more power.
He stated about the military, “We do not have a contract with a dictatorship, and once there is a de-facto dictatorship in Israel, we do not have a contract with them.” Barak made it clear that if the country’s survival was in jeopardy, he was certain that soldiers would follow orders.
By allowing the government to pass legislation that cannot be reviewed by the courts, Netanyahu’s package of judicial reforms would effectively deprive his nation’s Supreme Court of its independence and defang the nation’s courts. The legislation, according to Netanyahu and his supporters, is required to limit the power of renegade judges.
The measure’s opponents, some of whom have protested in the streets for the past ten weeks, argue that eliminating safeguards could damage the country’s democratic character.
Livni stated to Zakaria, “These are not judicial reforms.” It involves altering Israel’s democratic character.”
She continued, Legislators in the government and parliament are able to make laws, but the Supreme Court can and should keep an eye on human rights.”
In defiance of widespread protests, the Israeli parliament carried out a broader plan to overhaul the country’s legal system on Monday and passed a bill that would make it more difficult to remove Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office because of the corruption charges that have been brought against him.
During a late-night vote on the bill, lawmakers in the Knesset gave preliminary approval. The bill would allow the parliament to declare a prime minister unfit to rule for only physical or mental reasons.
A measure that would allow the Knesset to overturn decisions made by the Supreme Court and enact laws that had been overturned was expected to be put to a vote later. Before either bill can become law, additional votes are needed.
These actions were the most recent in a series that Netanyahu’s coalition has taken to reform Israel’s legal system. The initiative, according to the prime minister and his allies, aims to restrain an activist court. The drive, according to critics, would concentrate power in the hands of Netanyahu and his parliamentary majority and upend the country’s democratic checks and balances.