After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sacked a cabinet member who didn’t agree with his proposal to change the legal system of the Jewish State by restricting the Supreme Court’s power, there were huge protests in the streets and a strike was ready to start across the whole country.
Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday because he wanted to stop the modifications. Netanyahu is trying to give the Israeli Knesset more ability to make laws by limiting the power of the Supreme Court. Left-wing protesters, angry at what they regarded as an attack on Israeli democracy, stopped streets and bridges and started fires.
The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in a statement on Sunday that Netanyahu has decided to fire Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
People have said that the Israeli Supreme Court has too much authority and doesn’t answer to the Israeli citizens. Many of the ideas have outraged the Israeli administration, but they do set up the checks and balances between the legislative and judicial branches that are fundamental to the American system. Israel is not like the U.S. since it does not have a written constitution.
With the proposed amendments, the Knesset would have more influence over who gets to be a judge and the power to overturn Supreme Court decisions that knock down laws. Also, the Supreme Court would have to follow the law when making decisions instead of utilizing its own “reasonability” test.
After Netanyahu came back to power in December, Gallant told a speech the day before that Netanyahu’s policies risked Israel’s safety. Some Israeli Defense Forces reserve soldiers are said to have threatened to stop training if the notion isn’t taken away, which might explain the risk Gallant felt.
Israel’s prime leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, wants to make big changes to the way the country’s courts work.
Israel’s prime leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, wants to make a lot of changes to the way the country’s courts work. Picture by Amir Levy/Getty Images
President Isaac Herzog was not the first Israeli official to ask for a temporary stop.
A week ago, Herzog said to Netanyahu on Facebook, “Everyone in Israel is watching you.” Everyone in the Jewish world is keeping an eye on you. All eyes are on you right now. I encourage you to stop the legislative process right away for the sake of Israel’s unity and for your personal feeling of being a responsible person.
Nir Barkat, who is in charge of the economy, Miki Zohar, who is in charge of culture and sports, and Amichai Chikli, who is in charge of diaspora affairs and social equality, have all joined Herzog and Gallant in asking that the bill not be put into place. Barkat is a member of the Likud Party and used to be the mayor of Jerusalem. He favors the changes, but he is worried that forcing them through now will lead to public unrest.
On Monday, Israeli college students were going to start a strike, and the country’s biggest labor union was going to conduct a news conference with business leaders.