‘Giving a prize to violence:’ Herzog’s compromise panned by Netanyahu, coalition members

The proposal only perpetuates the current imbalance, Netanyahu warns.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected President Isaac Herzog’s compromise plan for judicial reform, saying it only perpetuates the imbalance between the branches of government.

“The things the president proposes were not agreed on by the coalition, and key elements of the proposal he suggested just perpetuate the existing situation, and don’t bring the necessary balance between the branches,” he says.

“That is the unfortunate truth.”

He noted that the opposition had boycotted every effort to attend discussions to arrive at a compromise.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called on Herzog to rescind the proposal immediately.

“If he fails to, then the president will have made a sharp turn left, giving in to threats and giving a prize to violence,” Smotrich wrote on Twitter.

Transportation Minister Miri Regev said the framework is “an insult to the intelligence of the public.”

“This is a framework that takes a clear side, against the people and the sovereign,” she said, adding that “truthfully, I expected something more serious.”

Benny Gantz’s National Unity party said it “accepts the president’s framework…as a basis for legislation, instead of the existing dangerous legislative outline.”

“We call on Netanyahu and all the elements in the political system to proceed responsibly at this fateful hour, and adopt the outline,” the party said.

The draft proposes that Basic Laws would be approved after four readings, and not in three as is currently the case. In the first three votes, a slim majority of 61 MKs will be required, but in the fourth reading, a majority of 80 MKs will be required in most cases.

The proposal also states that the Supreme Court will not be able to review Basic Laws, and will only have the power to strike down ordinary laws. In order to do so, the Supreme Court will be required to do so with an expanded panel of no less than 11 judges, and by a majority of at least 7. Without that, the law returns to review by the Knesset.

The Judicial Appointments Committee would comprise 11 members and not include a majority for the coalition, which would have only five prominent representatives there. The committee will include the Justice Minister, two other ministers chosen by the government, the Supreme Court president, two judges, three members of the Knesset – one from the coalition and two from the opposition from different factions. At least four members will be women and one from Israel’s Arab sectors.

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