A number of bills are introduced by the right-wing government with the goals of reducing the authority of courts and expanding settlements.
On Tuesday, Israel’s parliament moved one step closer to passing a bill that would allow politicians to appoint judges and overturn decisions made by the High Court with a simple majority. The legislation proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reform the country’s judiciary has been referred to as a “judicial coup.”
The Knesset also approved a number of other pieces of legislation during an overnight session that continued into the early hours of the morning. One of these pieces of legislation would prevent the country’s attorney general from declaring Benjamin Netanyahu unfit for office.
Only by the prime minister himself or with the approval of three-quarters of cabinet members would the prime minister be deemed unfit for office due to physical or mental incapacity.
Additionally, a piece of legislation that would expand West Bank settlements was approved by the parliament. The Israeli parliament also approved a bill that would require a majority of 12 out of 15 judges to overturn unconstitutional legislation, putting the judiciary at risk once more.
The same bill would also require a supermajority for the highest court to overrule parliament, while granting parliament a simple majority. The supreme court currently requires only a simple majority to overturn Israeli parliamentary laws.
Before being enacted into law, each bill needs additional votes.
The government’s agenda has not been dampened by the fact that these bills are passing through parliament in the midst of historic protests in Israel against Netanyahu’s attempts to weaken the judiciary.
A retrospective clause in the judiciary reform bill gives parliament the authority to overrule previous court decisions.
While one more bill would annul areas of the 2005 Withdrawal Regulation, which brought about Israeli pioneers clearing four settlements in 2005, and which could now see these settlements being re-involved.
The political crisis in Israel has pitted Netanyahu’s far-right government against the country’s academic and business elite, civil society, former government ministers, and military leaders. Over 250 prominent businesspeople and politicians from the United States expressed concern on Sunday in an open letter that Israel’s judicial reforms will make it “increasingly difficult” to defend the nation internationally.
“Numerous forerunners in the business local area will feel a sense of urgency to reconsider their dependence on Israel as an essential objective for venture, obtaining ability, building designing focuses, and keeping up with protected innovation,” business pioneers cautioned in their open letter.
The reforms may make it possible for Netanyahu to avoid being found guilty of corruption or to have his case dismissed. Since being prosecuted in 2019, Netanyahu has railed openly against the equity framework, calling it one-sided against him.
Over the course of more than two months, tens of thousands of people have continued to demonstrate in large numbers, engulfing Israel in political turmoil. Demonstrators demand that the government scrap the controversial plan to overhaul the judicial system because they believe it threatens the country’s checks and balances.
Supporters from a variety of professions, including the military, the legal system, and the high-tech industry, have joined the demonstrations, which have been growing. The Israeli pound has fallen in value as a result of the plans for reform, and the most prominent financial institution in the United States, JPMorgan Chase & Co., has expressed concern about the increased dangers associated with investing in Israel.