Judicial reform in Israel: the presidential compromise rejected by the government

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Judicial reform in Israel: the presidential compromise rejected by the government

President Isaac Herzog

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday evening presented a draft compromise on the judicial reform bill that is dividing the country, but the government there immediately opposed an end of inadmissibility.

Since the announcement of the reform bill in early January by one of the most right-wing governments in Israel's history, massive demonstrations have taken place every week in the country, to denounce what his detractors describe as an anti-democratic drift.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his allies consider the reform necessary to restore a balance of power between elected officials and the Supreme Court, that& #x27;they consider politicized.

Mr. Herzog, who plays an essentially ceremonial role, announced during a televised intervention that he had spoken with leading figures from the majority and the opposition to draft this compromise proposal.

This text, described by the president as a people's compromise, notably proposes changes to the most controversial points of the reform announced by the ruling coalition.

On Tuesday, the deputies adopted in first reading one of the texts of the law of the reform tightening the conditions allowing the Supreme Court to invalidate an ordinary law and allowing the Parliament to protect a law against any cancellation by a legislative process not requiring only a simple majority (61 deputies out of 120).

A new day of mobilization of opponents is announced for Thursday, after new demonstrations on Wednesday.

Anyone who thinks a civil war is impossible has no idea how close we are to it, but I won't let it happen, Herzog said, adding that he believes the majority of Israelis want a civil war. compromise.

The proposed compromise should serve as a basis for negotiation and replace the current draft, said Herzog, who does not hide his opposition to the government's draft.

Regarding the president's compromise, I think any attempt to reach an agreement and a dialogue is certainly welcome, Netanyahu told reporters before leaving for an official visit to Berlin. /p>

But what the president proposes was not accepted by representatives of the ruling coalition. Key points in his program only perpetuate the existing situation and do not provide the required balance between the powers, he added.

In in a pithy tweet, Yossi Fuchs, Secretary of the Government called the presidential initiative a unilateral compromise.

On the contrary, opposition leader Yaïr Lapid welcomed the president's proposal on Twitter and announced that he wanted to make all the necessary efforts to avoid the economic, security and social erosion which seriously harms national unity. .

The presidential proposal comes two days after the presentation to Parliament of a compromise drafted by a former justice minister, a university principal and a law professor, which the president of this Commission, Simcha Rothman, had believed to be a basis for negotiations.

Herzog's plan retains the government's idea of ​​preventing the Supreme Court from striking down a law fundamental, but contrary to the bill currently under consideration in Parliament, proposes that the Court may continue, under certain conditions, to challenge an amendment to these laws which serve as the Constitution in Israel.

Under the terms of the presidential project, the Court could revoke an ordinary law provided that a majority of eight judges out of a quorum of eleven emerges when the government project requires the unanimity of the fifteen judges of the Court for this .

Mr. Herzog also proposes that any new fundamental law be adopted after four readings, and with a qualified majority of 80 deputies (out of 120) in the fourth vote, and not in three readings and by a simple majority, as it& #x27;is currently the case.

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