He protest movement in Israel against judicial reform promoted by the far-right government of the prime minister, Benjamin NetanyahuHas promised reactivate the pressure in the streets against that legislation that they see as a threat to democracyby undermining the separation of powers and the independence of justice.
These are the keys that have reactivated the protests after more than six months of fighting in the streets:
1- Nullify the doctrine of reasonableness
The Knesset (Israeli Parliament) approved this morning in first reading a bill to nullify the doctrine of reasonablenesswhich allows the Supreme Court to overturn government decisions based on whether or not they are reasonable.
The final approval of this law is scheduled for before the parliamentary recess of the boreal summer, on July 31, and it will be the first piece of the judicial reform that goes ahead, after the law to change the composition of the judge selection committee was put on hold when Netanyahu froze the reform in March.
The government argues that reasonableness gives courts wide latitude to “meddling in political affairs” and that prevents them from carrying out the policies for which they won the elections. They ensure that there is no similar doctrine in the judicial system of other countries, where judicial review is more limited than in Israel, where it can still be carried out based on assumptions such as illegality, discrimination or disproportionality.
However, the political opposition and many jurists see the doctrine of reasonableness as a “democratic guarantee” and a “counterweight” to the government. They argue that Israel has a weak separation of powers because the executive branch controls the legislature, since the majority bloc in the Knesset governs.
2- Broken dialogue with the opposition
At the end of March, when the streets caught fire because Netanyahu fired the defense minister, Yoav Gallantfor openly asking to stop the judicial reform, the union Histadrut called a general strike that forced the prime minister to freeze the processing of this legislation and open a dialogue with the opposition.
sponsored by the president isaac herzogthe dialogue was broken last month by the opposition for the “lack of will” of the governmentwho then expressed his intention to move forward unilaterally with the plan.
In recent days, Herzog has urged a return to the negotiating table because “an agreement is achievable.” “No one is yet willing to sit down and talk without preconditions. It is an error of historical proportions, ”he warned.
3- Protests take to the streets again
Faced with this situation, the protest movement promised “intensify the fight to safeguard democracy” and raise the pressure in the streets; while the weekly demonstrations every Saturday have been recovering the influx of the beginning.
The anti-reform groups -representing broad sectors of society- have called this Tuesday for a new “day of resistance”, with roadblocks and highways, and demonstrations at Ben Gurion International Airport; the US embassy in Tel Aviv; the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem and Kaplan Avenue in Tel Aviv, the epicenter of the protests.
4- Heavy hand
Although they began as a peaceful movement, the protests have been taking on a more aggressivewhile the far-right bloc of the Government raises the calls for “firm hand” to quell the protests. More and more voices in Israel fear that it will escalate into violence as the political debate rages. This Tuesday the police already used water cannons against protesters and made numerous arrests.
Last week, the Tel Aviv police chief resigned. Amichai Eshedso as not to give in to pressure from the Minister of National Security, the far-right Itamar Ben Gvir -from the hardest wing of the government- to repress the protesters more forcefully.
His resignation caused a spontaneous outbreak in the center of Tel Aviv, when thousands of people took to the streets in support of Eshed in a protest with violent scenes, with bonfires, closures on the Ayalon highway, the deployment of mounted police and 37 detainees. .
5- Pending laws
The judge selection committee law – which gives the government near-sole control of it and shuts out the opposition – only needs a final vote after being approved in March by the plenary session of the Knesset in the first instance, but Netanyahu froze the reform in the face of the controversy that this law generated, which is expected to pass in the fall.
The annulment clause – which would allow Parliament to revoke judicial rulings – or the law that allows the substitution of legal advisers to ministries for political positions, are the other pillars of the reform pending approval.
(With information from EFE)
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