In the video: Netanyahu: "I believe it is possible to bring about a reform that will provide an answer to both sides" (Photo: Leam)
After almost three months of protests and petitions, hundreds of thousands in the streets, a flood of gloomy economic forecasts and dire security warnings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced yesterday (Thursday) to the citizens of Israel that he has "entered the event" of the legal revolution.
For 12 weeks the country is noisy and crowded and spiraling into the most difficult crisis in its history, and the Prime Minister was present-absent.
Under the auspices of the ombudsman's prohibition to deal with the Levin reform as a criminal defendant who is in conflict of interest, Netanyahu allegedly kept his hands out of the "incident". But in fact, he was in it the whole time.
The ombudsman's instruction allowed Netanyahu to remove responsibility from himself and play it in the role of deputy to Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Constitution Committee Chair Simcha Rothman.
In practice, he took a central part, if not the driving force, in the unfolding event.
He convened the heads of the coalition for fateful meetings;
He sent his associates to negotiate compromises at the president's house, and spent countless nights of face-to-face talks with Levin.
At the same time, he made sure to enact a personal law, tailored for the occasion and nothing else;
The Israel Defense Law, which was approved this week by the Knesset, is intended to allay Netanyahu's fears of the ombudsman's displeasure if he violates the conflict of interest arrangement. In a statement last night, he celebrated
the personal Israel Defense suit that was tailored to his measurements, declared "I am here", and returned to the event - where, As mentioned, he already was. This morning the ombudsman already informed him that the new suit is not suitable for the event at all, and that his announcement of his intention to engage in the revolution is illegal and a violation of the agreement he signed with the court.
Netanyahu announces to Israel about his "entrance to the event", March 23, 2023 (photo: screenshot, PM)
Before entering the event, Netanyahu tried to build a festive build-up.
He postponed his appearance until the weekend in London, summoned a chain of senior officials in the coalition and Likud, and his wife issued an unusual call for calming the spirits and for unity. This was the precursor to the sweet words at the beginning of his speech, in which he asked to be attentive to both sides, to find a broad consensus and to prevent a split in the nation. Netanyahu even came to the event With tribute offerings: waiving of the clause of sweeping escalation and a commitment to enshrine individual rights in basic legislation. But despite the state tone and softening words, the bottom line is that he did not bring any new news with him. Even after Netanyahu returned to the event, nothing changed. On the contrary, the statement only sharpened how much He is inside the event, all of it.
In the same breath in which the Prime Minister announced that he would do everything in his power to find a solution, he ruled out the only solution available - and stated that the Law on the Commission for the Composition of Judges will go up next week, without any delay.
In recent days, Netanyahu has heard dire warnings from Defense Minister Yoav Galant and Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy, about an imminent and real danger to the competence and functioning of the IDF in the face of the growing reservists' protest, and received a stern warning from the head of the Shin Bet about the increasing internal threats that endanger Israeli society. Also the opinion of The budget division of the Ministry of Finance, according to which the regime changes could result in a loss of 100 billion shekels per year, which Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich tried to silence this week, reached his desk. Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron's words in an interview with CNN, that the hasty legislation could endanger the economy, He heard long ago in the closed room.
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Tried to silence the gloomy predictions.
Bezalel Smotrich (Photo: Niv Aharonson)
Netanyahu is well aware of the economic, security, political and social event that the legal revolution is creating, and is letting it roll towards the abyss.
President Yitzhak Herzog handed him three public scales in recent weeks.
But the coalition casually rejected all the speeches, outlines and compromises, while stubbornly refusing the basic condition he presented - stopping the legislation.
Defense Minister Galant Netanyahu's lifeline was also rejected yesterday.
Gallant was preparing for his own historic statement, more like the speech of his life, and to publicly warn of the grave concern he raised before the Prime Minister in the room of a fatal injury to the IDF and the security of the state if the reform is passed next week.
In the prevailing bibist Likud atmosphere, which also resented the unilateral "softening" the coalition did after being left without a compromise partner, this is a brave move, which will have heavy political costs.
Gallant tried to prepare in advance and recruit more moderate Likud voices such as Yuli Edelstein, David Bitan, Nir Barkat, Avi Dichter and Eli Dellal, who would stand behind him demanding a freeze, and provide a counterpoint to Levin's extreme stubbornness.
Netanyahu, who according to his associates is really worried about the horror scenarios of the collapse of the IDF, could have jumped on the Galant security bandwagon, and stopped and recalculated the course. But he preferred to eliminate the leadership moment of the Defense Minister ahead of time, than to face the dilemma of a confrontation with Levin and the Beiss Likudi.
Gallant was hurriedly summoned to the Prime Minister's office, and was asked to wait with the statement for a few more days to find a solution. Meanwhile, Levin and Yoav Kish worked with the MKs suspected of supporting the freeze, and made sure to crowd the ranks.
Dodi Amsalem, who has been refusing to be appointed minister in the Ministry of Justice for a month without receiving real powers, finally received the permission of the government companies, in a clear attempt to separate his forces from Gallant, who is considered his good friend.
Prepared for the speech of his life and withdrew.
Defense Minister Yoav Galant with the Chief of Staff (Photo: Elad Malka)
The chairman of the coalition Ofir Katz published a special message against those who are considering opposing the reform, Galit Distal called on the Minister of Defense to resign, and Likud groups were flooded with wild slander against Galant and his submission to the left-wing refuseniks - the so-called poison machine. The celebration was joined by Itamar Ben Gabir and members of Otzma Yehudit, who are running a Hurma campaign their own extremists against the Minister of Defense, in defense of Jewish lawbreakers and terrorists, who announced that Gallant had "removed himself from the right-wing camp." Thus, even before he uttered a word, Gallant was dealt a hard Bibiist/Levinist/populist blow, designed to discourage the Likudniks who considered joining him
At Netanyahu's request, Gallant postponed his speech, but did not necessarily have the last word. As the date for the vote on the first part of the reform approaches, the Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff are expected to continue their efforts to prevent the disintegration of the IDF from within. President Herzog is also not giving up on his efforts to find an
of the last minute,and works through many channels in Likud and the coalition to prepare hearts for compromise in preparation for Passover.
Some of Netanyahu's acquaintances believe that in the end, as usual, he will be pressured and fold in the 91st minute.
It's just that the speech he gave last night, as well as his repeated rejection of all scales, signal that he has no intention of stopping the legal revolution.
Not only does he not "enter the event", he is simply the event itself.
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The legal revolution