Last nine days of negotiations: Reports of an optimistic atmosphere between the sides are becoming real and decision-making time is approaching. The deadline: June 14, the day of the Knesset elections for representatives to the Judicial Appointments Committee.
The formula that was formulated will allow the coalition to move forward and enact, in agreement with the opposition, two laws at the summer conference: the reduction of reasonableness grounds and the Legal Advisers Law, but a serious dispute over the rest of the reform still exists and is expected to lead to an explosion of talks very soon.
Two alternatives are at stake now. The first, and preferred by the Likud, includes the enactment of the two laws discussed at the current conference, and the postponement of the remaining laws to the winter conference and the continuation of talks at the president's residence. The opposition, on the other hand, is demanding that the rest of the reform be shelved in exchange for agreeing to enact both laws.
The state camp has reservations about Yesh Atid's position. Yair Lapid, Photo: Oren Ben Hakon
The Likud is pressuring opposition representatives to make a decision in the immediate future, even before the Knesset representatives are appointed to the judicial selection committee.
If the opposition agrees to the Likud's proposal, it will receive a seat on the Judicial Selection Committee, and if the coalition intends to choose to appoint two representatives from within it to the committee, as happened in the Netanyahu-Gantz government, then Osnat Mark and Zvika Hauser will sit on the committee.
In the meantime, efforts are underway in the opposition to reach an agreement on the identity of their representative in the committee elections, and Yesh Atid would like to see MK Karine Elharrar in the position.
Contrary to previous assessments, according to which a decision will be made in the next two days due to the submission of MKs' nominations to the committee this coming Wednesday, senior sources now claim that "everything is on the table" until Election Day, since changes can also be made to the list of candidates for the voting date.
The decision, the Likud claims, is in Gantz's hands. But the queen's camp is making it clear today that they will refrain from negotiating the reform of the "salami system," that is, gradually approving laws, and will insist on agreeing on all the details first. "We were burned by those players, and not in the distant past," the party said, referring to the fate of the Gantz-Netanyahu government.
Yesh Atid added another condition, demanding that Levin convene the committee for selecting judges in order to prove the "seriousness of intentions" of the Likud. The Likud rejected this demand out of hand, and even the official camp expressed reservations about what they call "Lapid's desire to run the Justice Ministry instead of Levin."
However, as long as the state camp is not interested in the Likud's proposals to approve the two agreed laws and continue the talks simultaneously, an explosion in the talks seems inevitable.
The president's residence is already preparing for a battle of accusations between the sides over the failure of the talks. After they managed to gather everyone around the same table for many weeks, the fear is that dismantling the forum of talks between the coalition and the opposition will lead to a serious crisis between the sides, one that will affect the Israeli street.
Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting, would prefer an agenda dealing with political issues (archive), photo: Jonathan Zindel/Flash90
In any case, decision-making in the coalition is in the hands of Netanyahu, who is not interested in rekindling the protests and returning to an agenda that deals with legal reform, and prefers to deal with political issues that are becoming more and more fateful, when the dialogue with the United States, and the understandings with them, are not optimal.
"The only way out at this stage is to legislate what is agreed, and move forward with negotiations on what is not," a senior coalition source told Israel Hayom, adding that Netanyahu also understands that he will not be able to dismiss his partners for nothing if the talks fail.
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