Video: Demonstrations against the legal revolution resume across the country (Photo: Shlomi Gabay, Gilad First, Amir Shouni, Shaf, Aviv Hasidov.)
Another big Wednesday will go down in the history of the Knesset next week, or at least in the history of the 25th Knesset, and in the libels of the legal revolution of Netanyahu's sixth government. The elections of Knesset representatives on the Judicial Selection Committee always stir up the corridors of the Knesset with passions and deals behind the scenes, but until now it has mainly concerned jurists, knowledgeable people and crazy people. This time, ratings will jump sharply. A great many eyes in the country will be waiting anxiously for the election results, and especially for the question of whether one or two candidates will be elected from the coalition, which has become a symbol and a sign of life for the state of the revolution: if the coalition elects two of its members to the committee, then the legal reform is still alive and breathing; If opposition representative Karine Elharrar is elected, the reform will take another big step toward burying her.
Justice Minister Yariv Levin has already made it clear to anyone that in any case he has no intention of convening the Judicial Selection Committee and appointing judges according to the existing composition, which he wanted to fundamentally change until it was halted and frozen by the enormous power of the protests. Levin would prefer to postpone the elections to the committee more and more, as he did at the beginning when his reform was just launched, and leave it with a glimmer of hope. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided the opposite, and promised Israeli President Isaac Herzog that this time the committee would be chosen as usual, so as not to blow up the dialogue talks at the president's residence. In the meantime, they have entered a kind of freeze, until it becomes clear whether Netanyahu will keep his full word, and the coalition will choose only one candidate on its behalf and will not try to usurp behind the curtain the traditional seat reserved for the opposition.
Will the legal revolution take another step toward burying her? Netanyahu and Levin (Photo: Knesset Spokesperson, Noam Moshkovitz)
Unusually, this week the opposition leaders managed to rise above the typical disagreements and factionalism and unite behind Elharrar as the only candidate. This happened thanks to opposition leader Lapid's steadfastness on his wishes, thanks to Benny Gantz, who gave up the temptation of leadership in order to reap credit for responsibility and nobility, and thanks to MK Efrat Reitan of the Labor Party, who managed not to repeat the failure of her party chairman in the last elections and to split the camp in two. The momentary opposition unity was mainly intended to make life difficult for the coalition and pressure it too towards one candidate, only there, in a mirror image, the number of candidates entered severe inflation.
No fewer than nine Knesset members submitted their candidacy to the committee. According to the coalition agreements, the seat on the Judicial Selection Committee is reserved for Otzma Yehudit, which nominated two Hakim for election, Yitzhak Kreuzer and Limor Sun Har Melech, who is expected to remove her name since Elharar fulfills the promise of gender representation in the Knesset. In addition, six more Likudniks jumped on the bandwagon independently, trying to jump on the second place on the bandwagon, or just to roll out their names in media reports and interviews. Finally, Shas also decided to join the celebration, and submitted Uriel Bosso as its candidate.
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"Give up the temptation of leadership." Gantz (Photo: Flash 90, Jonathan Zindel)
The plurality of candidates increases the tension and leaves alive the threat that, intentionally or accidentally, the opposition will not get its place on the committee, and the coalition has tried to use it to pressure the president's chamber to reach even a small agreement on how to continue advancing the reform before next big Wednesday. This attempt failed, the talks were put on hold, and the ball was rolled back to the starting point in the Prime Minister's Office, where Netanyahu will have to make the decision. The prevailing assessment in the coalition and the opposition is that at the last minute, he will order to withdraw most of the nominations and compare his standing with the opposition with one candidate. If not, the significance for him is clear and clear: an immediate explosion of dialogue at the president's residence and two gallons of gasoline to fuel the protest, which already warns in advertising campaigns that on Wednesday "anything can catch fire." Within a few hours, Netanyahu may go back two and a half months to the huge demonstrations that erupted following the dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Galant, which forced him to declare a freeze on the revolution.
In an interview with Sky News last night, the prime minister was asked what would happen if talks at the president's residence failed, and replied: "Give me time. Let me keep the cards close to my chest." The time Netanyahu is asking for is signaling that he is headed for a continuation of calm: Dialogue is his Iron Dome for repairing the political and economic damage caused by the revolution, and there is no international conversation in which he does not talk about the efforts to reach consensus and broad agreement. He has no interest in violating the status quo and thawing the freeze on legislation, despite repeated threats by senior coalition officials to resume unilateral reform soon. The stagnation in the talks increases pressure from Justice Minister Levin and reform supporters to seek an explosion, and the election of only one candidate from the coalition on Big Wednesday could deal them another blow that Netanyahu will have to appease.
- Yariv Levin
- Benjamin Netanyahu
- The Legal Revolution
- Benny Gantz
- Yair Lapid