‘We are the Majority’: Over a Hundred Thousand Israelis Rally in Support of Netanyahu’s ‘Paused’ Judicial Reform
“The White House welcomed the postponement.”
Hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his decision to freeze the planned judicial reform temporarily, more than a hundred thousand Israelis rallied in Jerusalem to support the government’s push to overhaul the judiciary.
LIVE from the pro-Judicial Reform rally in #Jerusalem – our voice will not be silenced! pic.twitter.com/SwLrTZZ9im
— Yishai Fleisher يشاي ישי פליישר 🕎 (@YishaiFleisher) March 27, 2023
The Israeli news website Arutz Sheva reported Monday night:
Over a hundred thousand supporters of the judicial reforms demonstrated outside the Knesset in Jerusalem Monday evening to call on the government to stand firm in passing the reforms and not to freeze the legislation.
The pro-reform demonstrators chanted “Our voice isn’t less important than a pilot’s,” We know exactly who we voted for” and “A minority of elites cannot bring the country to this point. We are one nation.”
On Monday evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu halted the judicial reform amid calls for a general strike by left-wing groups.
“There is an extremist minority that is prepared to tear our country to pieces. It is using violence and incitement, it is threatening to harm elected officials, it is stoking civil war, and it is calling for refusal to serve, which is a terrible crime,” Netanyahu said.
“Therefore, out of national responsibility, out of a desire to prevent a rift in the nation, I have decided to suspend the second and third readings of the law in the current Knesset session in order to allow time to try and reach that broad consensus, ahead of legislation in the next Knesset session,” the prime minister concluded. (Read the full text of the speech here.)
Estimated crowd: one and a half million people.
The silent majority, much as in the U.S., is very real. https://t.co/cByWd9xP1v
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) March 28, 2023
Currently 100K+ protesting in Israel *in favor* of judicial reform. These people voted for parties that promised reform. They now hope that their will be (rightfully) executed upon. Media coverage here totally quiet after covering anti-reformers nonstop. pic.twitter.com/CiPS9ApYSL
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) March 27, 2023
Biden White House ‘Welcomes’ the Halting of Israel’s Judicial Reform
The Biden White, which had been vocal against the judicial overhaul, was among the first Western governments to “welcome” the rollback.
Germany’s state TV Deutsche Welle reported:
The White House welcomed the postponement and said it saw it “as an opportunity to create additional time and space for compromise,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“Democratic societies are strengthened by checks and balances and fundamental changes to a democratic system should be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support.”
It might be that the Left-wing hysteria and physical shut down of Israel may just have awoken the slumbering Right-wing.
Thanks! We needed that.
(poster from last night: we are the majority, you are the minority) pic.twitter.com/3ARgkWBJbG
— Yishai Fleisher يشاي ישי פליישר 🕎 (@YishaiFleisher) March 28, 2023
Opposition “Fumes” as Netanyahu Puts Legislation to Vote
While Prime Minister Netanyahu postponed the reform process for the time being, he filed the judicial bill in the parliament for a future vote — possibly during the summer session. The left-wing opposition ‘fumed” over the move that allowed the government to keep the bill alive.
The Times of Israel reported:
Opposition lawmakers fumed Tuesday morning as it became apparent that despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement Monday night that his government was pausing its judicial overhaul push in order to launch negotiations with the opposition, one of its most controversial bills had nevertheless been submitted to the Knesset for its final votes, which would enable it to be brought for approval at any later date. (…)
The bill — which would give the government exclusive say in the first two Supreme Court picks that become empty during its term, followed by a mutual veto in the uncommon situation of a third or fourth justice being selected in a single term — was approved Monday by the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for its final readings in the Knesset plenum.
Filing it with the Knesset secretary enables the coalition to call the final votes with 24 hours’ notice. The Knesset begins a month-long recess this weekend.
The move was done just hours before Netanyahu called for a pause in legislative efforts but only announced Tuesday morning.
The bill drafted by the Netanyahu-led coalition would give Israel’s elected government the power to change the constitution and nominate judges to the Supreme Court, something the left-wing parties and activists bitterly opposed.
Here is an informative Twitter thread by Avi Woolf on the much-maligned judicial reform (courtesy David Gerstman):
So, I've tried to avoid talking about the fight over Israeli judicial reform (no, it's not a "coup") because it's the sort of thing that's led to emotions as extreme as when Trump was just elected in 2016. But I was asked to explain what's going on by a friendly follow, so…
— Avi Woolf, Wilderness Conservative🐺 (@AviWoolf) March 27, 2023
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
MIGA- Make Israel Great Again
I don’t think that is a very good comparison. Bibi had over 100,000 supporters in the streets. Trump had 200 people show up at his rally announcing his presidential bid.
thank you for this coverage. I have seen slivers of this story on other sites, and have wondered what is going on, as I do not trust – even one iota! – the news media when they take a side. Also, Biden said the postponement is a good thing, therefore I know that I want the judicial reform to happen
Ditto. Great article.. it was a big help sorting out what is happening there.
So where was this “broad consensus” and “base of popular support” 30 years ago when the high court seized power for itself and the career DOJ civil service? Nowhere.
That’s when one judge said the quiet part aloud, that the judiciary’s role was to prevent the majority of voters from violating Western liberal values.
Change the constitution?! The whole problem is that there is no constitution. There are only “basic laws” that the Knesset has always been able to pass or repeal by a simple majority, but which the High Court decided to treat as if they were a semi-constitution, and use to overturn other Knesset-passed laws. That’s OK, because the Knesset can always alter or repeal them, so if the court says “this law you passed violates this other law that is basic, so it overrides ordinary laws”, the Knesset can just amend the basic law, or re-pass its new law with an explicit statement that it means it to override the basic law. That makes it like RFRA in the USA, which is constitutional because it rests on a rebuttable presumption that Congress doesn’t mean to contradict it unless it explicitly says so.
So that’s OK, but then there’s this other ground the courts recently came up with for striking down laws, which is that they contradict the judges’ own feelingz. There has never been a consensus for that.
As for appointing judges, that has always been up to a committee on which a majority of members are from the existing judiciary, plus the bar association which is beholden to the judiciary before which they must appear. That’s just completely contrary to all principles of democratic government.
Your absolutely right. The problem is that they have no Constitution to at least make an attempt to restain an out if control Judiciary and AG who can overturn any decision by the elected Government at a whim. This is what the Left is so angry about. A control on their authoritarian rule by the proles. How dare the people think they have a say in the way they live
I don’t believe Solomon himself could write a suitable Constitution for Israel today.
This is true, and has been since Israel was founded. That’s why nobody has tried. Almost everyone agrees in principle that the country needs one, but nobody can imagine how one could ever be agreed on.
Israel has a Constitution. It’s called the Torah.
No, it doesn’t have a constitution. And the Torah certainly isn’t it. Israel is not a religious country. Its declaration of independence doesn’t even mention God; it invokes “the Rock of Israel”, specifically so the religious sector could interpret that as God while the secular majority could interpret it as the nation’s resilience, or the army, or some such thing. Many of Israel’s laws intentionally contradict the Torah; in particular the Law of Return was amended in 1970 with the specific intention of defying the Torah by recognizing all purported “conversions” to Judaism, whether they comply with the Torah’s laws or not. Bernie Sanders (or the Pope, for that matter) could hand out “Conversion to Judaism” certificates, and that would be sufficient to entitle someone to immigrate to Israel as a Jew under the Law of Return.
I was making a funny remark – that happens to be true, even though it is not abided by. You are too dense to get that.
The Nation of Israel is founded on the Torah as the Supreme Law. It is the world’s oldest Constitution and the first instance of an abstract nation that people can become citizens of if they accept the world view and the Law.
That is true of the “Nation of Israel”, עם ישראל, aka the “Jewish nation”. It is not true of the “State of Israel”, מדינת ישראל, which is the entity that governs and makes laws for the territory making up the Land of Israel.
The protests and strikes in Israel are part of a worldwide push of the self-hating, nihilist Western Left. It has broken free of all constraints of logic or sense and is barreling down on its fevered dream of excising advanced humanity from the face of the planet.
These are sick, sick people. The sickest sort of people that the “Trial and Error” of evolution has ever puked onto this Earth.
History will show how leftism/prog-ism took down the world’s democracies in a ridiculously short time.
History will also show the GOP base (that’s us) clownishly asleep and mindless in our voting as we accuse the useful idiots of the left.
McConnell. Graham. Romney. Rona Romney.
I rest my case.
Trump endorsed Rona Romney.
Democrats’ Sympathies in Middle East Shift to Palestinians
Sick and hypocritical. Illiberal. Shame on Democrats, especially the ignorant ones that are led by the nose.
“There is an extremist minority that is prepared to tear our country to pieces. It is using violence and incitement, it is threatening to harm elected officials, it is stoking civil war, and it is calling for refusal to serve, which is a terrible crime,” said Joe Biden, NEVER.
Mr. Netanyahu, don’t blink.
You like parliamentary systems? The administration and legislature controlled by the same
cabalcoalition — the majority of the moment can do anydamnthing. Self-congenial government is only for people who believe they won’t run amok.
At least with divided-ish govt they have to work a bit harder to embrace their whim of the moment.
That’s a valid criticism of the Westminster system of government, especially with a unicameral legislature. Divided government, whether it’s two genuine legislative chambers or an independent executive with its own mandate, has some advantages, but only if both/all divisions are legitimate and derive their power ultimately from the people. A judiciary that is self-selecting, and a civil service that is much the same, have no business being even a division of government, let alone the only real government.
Caroline Glick runs THE best site for a constant, clearheaded explanation and analysis of Israeli and Middle East politics and very often our own as well. A long history of a judiciary run amok in a democracy can be found there.
For review of the original Judicial Reform proposals, as well as an excellent analysis of the proposals, see Evelyn Gordon in Mosaic Magazine (March 2023). Unfortunately, that piece reads like history as of yesterday. The ignorant leftists won. I believe that one day the right wing will, one way or another, seize the judiciary (maybe tanks will roll up the steps of the Supreme Court). At that point, we may have a more democratic system implemented in Israel or we may have, as Primordial joked above, a Constitution that is the Torah.
See here re judicial reformhttps://mosaicmagazine.com/response/israel-zionism/2023/03/the-need-for-judicial-reform-isnt-going-away/
I think that a lot of the reform can be acomplished this way via legislation that would require the following:
1) changing the means of selection of judges away from the Court
2) selection of judges who are not biased against Charedim settlers and Sefardim-Barak promoted a judge who called Charedim “Ḥaredim “parasites . . . who have never contributed a jot to the country” and told a disabled attorney she had no business being a lawyer if she couldn’t climb the courthouse step”-this is the kind of bias that the Jim Crow courts in the Deep South exhibited orior to the passage of the civil rights laws in the US
3) legislation requiring an actual case and controversy as opposed to allowing the court to create its own cases
4) requiring standing -a person who will be actually hurt by a particular law
5) requiring the court to defer to Halacha on issues that would affect the religious-secular status quo
6) requiring the court to defer to the IDF and its expertise on issues of national security
They only oppose it because they hate Netanyahu. If they were in power they’d be all for it. And it’s a bad idea as described by this article, in part because eventually the left will be in control, and they will use it to the hilt.