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"Great concern" for Israel: Netanyahu stops judicial reform because of "civil war" risk

2023-03-28T11:49:27.138Z


In Israel there is massive resistance to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned judicial reform. The news ticker.


In Israel there is massive resistance to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned judicial reform.

The news ticker.

  • Netanyahu

    responds to

    resistance

    : Prime Minister could suspend judicial reform in Israel.

  • Defense Minister

    Fired: Netanyahu has relieved Defense Minister Joav Galant of his duties.

Update from March 28, 11:15 a.m .:

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) has expressed concern about the planned judicial reform in Israel.

"I've listened to the arguments of both sides and - especially as a friend of Israel - I'm very concerned," Buschmann told the

Watson

news portal .

An independent judiciary is part of a liberal democracy, he emphasized.

"Even a majority cannot decide everything - and it can also be wrong," said Buschmann.

He emphasized: "Those who are called upon to set boundaries for the majority are judges." The judicial reform in Israel threatened to restrict their independence.

Democracy is currently under pressure worldwide, said the FDP minister.

"Sometimes there is a trend towards authoritarian thinking."

In the evening, after massive protests and several crisis talks, Netanyahu announced that he would suspend the plans for a few weeks in order to "make room for dialogue" and "avoid a civil war".

However, the opponents of the reform want to continue protesting: "We will not stop the demonstrations until the judiciary putsch has been completely stopped," said the organizers of the resistance.

There was disagreement in the opposition over whether to open a dialogue with Netanyahu's government.

Netanyahu's judicial reform in Israel

With the judicial reform, Netanyahu's coalition wants to curtail the influence of the Supreme Court and expand the government's position of power.

The right-wing religious coalition accuses the Supreme Court of excessive interference in political decisions.

According to the plans, Parliament should be able to overturn court decisions with a simple majority.

In addition, the composition of the body for appointing judges is to be changed.

Critics see the separation of powers in danger and warn of a state crisis.

Israeli Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said he had reached an agreement with Netanyahu to postpone judicial reform.

In return, a “national guard” is to be set up under the leadership of the far-right politician.

What this means in concrete terms was not initially clear.

For around three months, tens of thousands, sometimes several hundred thousand people, have been taking to the streets against the plan of the right-wing religious government to weaken the independent judiciary.

Netanyahu under pressure: Prime Minister halts controversial judicial reform for the time being

Update from March 27, 7:35 p.m .

: After weeks of mass protests in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a temporary halt to the controversial judicial reform.

"I have decided to suspend the second and third readings in this session," Netanyahu said in Jerusalem on Monday.

The legislative proposal will therefore be submitted to Parliament for a vote at the end of April at the earliest.

Update from March 27, 4:05 p.m .:

Parts of the Israeli government are now also calling for counter-protests.

Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir from the ultra-right party Otzma Jehudit called for counter-demonstrations in Jerusalem via Twitter.

Bezalel Smotrich from the right-wing religious party HaTzionut HaDatit also published a corresponding appeal.

The situation in the cities remains tense.

Update from March 27, 2:10 p.m .:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken publicly for the first time since the dismissal of his Defense Minister Joav Galant.

On Twitter, he called for unity and against violence in the face of massive protests.

+

In Israel, people are demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned judicial reform.

© HAZEM BADER/AFP

“I call on all protesters in Jerusalem, from the right and from the left, to act responsibly and not to use violence.

We are brothers,” Netanyahu wrote on Monday (March 27).

Meanwhile, the federal government has expressed concern about the escalating disputes over judicial reform in Israel.

Update from March 27, 10:45 a.m .:

The announced speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was delayed in the morning.

The background is said to be a dispute within the coalition.

Accordingly, several ministers announced that they would resign if Netanyahu announced a halt to the reform.

Protests in Israel: Netanyahu responds to resistance to judicial reform

Update from March 27, 9:47 a.m .:

Despite massive protests, the Parliament’s Judiciary Committee approved the text of the law on Monday (March 27), which is intended to change the composition of the Judge Election Committee.

At the same time, the draft was sent to the plenary for the final reading, as the Israeli media unanimously reported.

The session was repeatedly interrupted by loud shouts from opposition MPs.

It was initially unclear when the parliament in Jerusalem would vote on the planned regulations.

+

Recording from March 27: protests in Tel Aviv

© AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP

Update from March 27, 8:36 a.m .:

According to media reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to comment on the controversial judicial reform on Monday morning.

Netanyahu is expected to announce a halt to his right-wing religious government's controversial plans.

As the public broadcaster

Kan

reports, citing sources close to Netanyahu, the speech is expected to be at 10 a.m. local time (9 a.m. CEST).

The office of the head of government did not want to confirm this at first.

Justice reform in Israel leads to protests: President Netanyahu dismisses defense minister

First report from March 27, 7 a.m.:

Tel Aviv – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed Defense Minister Joav Galant after his call to stop a controversial judicial reform.

This was announced by Netanyahu's right-wing conservative Likud party on Sunday evening.

There have been protests in Israel for months against the reform, which is intended to curtail the influence of the Supreme Court.

The right-wing religious government's plans also drew international criticism.

Angered protests erupted after Galant was fired.

In Tel Aviv, tens of thousands spontaneously took to the streets, in Jerusalem angry people broke through a roadblock next to Netanyahu's apartment building.

The situation keeps getting worse.

Dispute over judicial reform: Netanyahu fires defense minister – situation in Israel is coming to a head

Galant's dismissal caused anger and resentment among the people.

The police used cavalry squadrons and water cannons against the protesters, from which stones flew at the emergency services.

Israeli universities announced a temporary suspension of teaching in protest at Galant's dismissal and the reform plans.

Several mayors went on hunger strike, demanding an immediate containment of the national crisis.

The trade union confederation (Histadrut) scheduled a press conference for Monday, apparently to call a general strike.

Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned that Israel was in the greatest danger since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Bennett called on Netanyahu to reverse Galant's sacking, suspend judicial reform and engage in dialogue with opponents.

He warned the demonstrators not to use violence and to prevent bloodshed.

"We are brothers," wrote Bennett.

Security experts warn that enemies of Israel, above all Iran, the Lebanese Hezbollah militia and militant Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip, could use the situation to attack the country, which has been weakened by the domestic political crisis.

Israel's ex-defense minister called for the judiciary reform to be stopped - and is fired

The previous defense minister surprisingly called on his own government to engage in dialogue with critics of the judicial reform on Saturday evening.

Netanyahu then discussed a possible halt to the reform with several ministers in his cabinet from Sunday evening until late into the night, the

Jerusalem Post reported.

The reform should enable Parliament in future to overturn decisions of the Supreme Court with a simple majority.

Galant warned that national security could be seriously damaged.

Netanyahu responded by dismissing him.

Nevertheless, his coalition wants to implement core elements of the reform in the next few days.

Galant was the most senior member of the government to speak critically of judicial reform.

The government accuses the Supreme Court of excessive interference in political decisions.

He gained support in the Likud party.

Opposition leader Jair Lapid called his call a "bold step" important to Israel's security.

Galant also addressed the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians and the Iranian nuclear program.

In a television report, reserve fighter pilots had threatened not to take part in a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities if the reform went through.

Netanyahu fires defense minister as US government reacts concerned about Israel's security

After Galant's speech, organizers of the mass protests against the reform in Israel announced that the demonstrations would continue until the reform plans were completely abandoned.

They have announced a "week of disruption" with numerous protests.

Experts assume that the months of mass protests are not only about judicial reform, but that the liberal camp is also venting its anger about other deep-seated problems.

In view of the widespread protests in Israel against the course of the right-wing religious coalition, the US government has called for a compromise.

"We are deeply concerned about today's developments in Israel, which underscore the urgent need for a compromise," the White House said on Sunday evening (local time).

"We continue to urge the Israeli leadership to find a compromise as soon as possible."

Government in Israel wants to push through judicial reform: "Red line crossed"

The vote on a law that would give government politicians more influence in the appointment of judges could take place as early as this Monday (March 27).

It is still unclear how critics of the reform will vote within the government.

The coalition only has a majority of four seats in parliament.

In a joint statement, opposition politicians Jair Lapid and Benny Gantz called on Netanyahu's party colleagues "not to participate in the destruction of national security".

The head of government "crossed a red line".

The situation in the Palestinian territories also remains very tense: for the third time within a month, there was an attack on Israelis in the village of Huwara in the West Bank on Saturday evening.

According to the military, two soldiers were injured, one of them seriously.

According to reports, a suspected Palestinian gunman shot from a moving car.

Just under a week ago, an Israeli was seriously injured in an attack in the town.

A month ago, two Israeli brothers were killed there.

This was followed by serious riots by Israeli settlers.

(bohy/dpa)

List of rubrics: © Alberto Pezzali/AP

Source: merkur

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