News Middle East Justice reform in Israel: under pressure, Netanyahu pledges to “end the division”

Justice reform in Israel: under pressure, Netanyahu pledges to “end the division”

Published on : 03/23/2023 – 22:06

After nearly three months of massive protests against the justice reform bill, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Thursday. He said he wanted to do “everything to calm people’s minds” and “end the division among the people”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Thursday, March 23, to “end the division among the people”, after nearly three months of massive protests against the justice reform bill currently under consideration in Parliament .

Benjamin Netanyahu, who had so far remained in the background on this issue, announced that he was “entering the scene” and that he was determined to push forward the reform, but that he would do everything to “reach a solution” acceptable both to the defenders of the project and to its detractors.

“We cannot allow a dispute, no matter how acute, to jeopardize our common future… Opponents of reform are not traitors, supporters are not fascists,” he said. he declared, referring to the favorite invectives of each of the two camps against the other. “I will do everything, everything, in order to calm the spirits and put an end to the division within the people,” he said again.

He himself had repeatedly qualified the demonstrators in recent weeks as supporters of “anarchy”.

The Minister of Defense cancels his intervention

The reform aims to increase the power of elected officials over that of magistrates. According to its detractors, it jeopardizes the democratic character of the State of Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies believe the reform is necessary to restore a balanced balance of power between elected officials and the Supreme Court, which they consider politicized.

The prime minister delivered his address to the nation after speaking with his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, who initially announced his intention to speak publicly earlier in the evening. The latter, who asked the ruling coalition several times to pause the legislative process to allow negotiations with the opposition on the reform, finally canceled his intervention.

Tens of thousands of protesters on Thursday

For a little over an hour, Israeli television spoke of the prospect of the minister’s resignation, or the scenario of a hypothetical explosion of the government coalition, one of the most right-wing in the history of Israel. .

Again Thursday, tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated against the reform during a new day of mobilization, punctuated by clashes between demonstrators and police.

In Tel Aviv, a dozen demonstrators were arrested for disturbing public order according to the police. The police used water cannons to disperse the crowd that had blocked the city’s ring road, according to an AFP journalist on the spot.

“If the vote [de la loi] on the [composition de la commission chargée de la] appointment of judges passes next week [au Parlement]it’s the beginning of the dictatorship,” Nadav Golander, a 37-year-old protester who works in advertising, told AFP.

This text is one of the central elements of the reform. It was amended these days in committee to soften its content with a view to reaching a wider vote, and Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that it would indeed be put to the vote of the deputies for adoption in plenary session “next week” .

With AFP

Source: France 24

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