Israel has been experiencing severe and continuous protests since the beginning of the year. The Netanyahu government’s plans to bring in judicial reforms have not gone well with the majority in the country and it had one of the worst domestic crises in the country. Streets of major towns, including Tel Aviv, have been continuously flooded with protestors who are speaking against the government and demanding that the Prime Minister step down.
The political opponents of Netanyahu, along with a few sections of the government, including a few Army officials have also protested against the government.
What are the reforms which led to the protests?
Following are a few of the pointers from the controversial reforms:
- The government will have the power in deciding the appointment of judges in courts, including the Supreme Court.
- There will be no compulsion for the ministers to obey the advice of the legal advisors. According to the existing law, the ministers are bound to follow the guidelines or advice of the attorney general.
- A majority in the Israeli Parliament, or Knesset, will be able to overrule the decisions of the court.
In its defence, the government has stated that the reforms had been in the plan for a long period and also assured that the people would be in favour of them.
The government also said that it was the promise of such reforms, which got them to power. The Netanyahu-led right-wing government believes that the judiciary is a left-leaning institution under the control and influence of the unelected elite, and hence not very accountable.
The opposition parties in their political and social circles stated that the reforms will severely undermine the democratic values of the country and will also dilute the power of the judiciary which has historically kept the governments in power, under check.
Several protestors also believe that the laws will personally benefit Netanyahu who is currently under trial for alleged corruption charges.
The government has initiated dialogues with the protestors. Prime Minister Netanyahu also said that a key part of the legislation will be pushed ahead. Although postponed, the Prime Minister is certain that the law will be passed in one way or another, given the pressure of the right-wing elements in the government who are a key support to his tenure.