‘The legal system of balance threatens to disappear’

France Press agency

NOS News

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s new far-right government in Israel wants to implement legal reforms that worry many Israelis. For the second week in a row, thousands of people took to the streets in Tel Aviv to demonstrate against the plans.

The new government is the most right-wing and conservative ever in the country. This week, Attorney General Levin introduced plans to dramatically reduce the Supreme Court’s power over the justice system. At the same time, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, will gain more power.

Minority rights

Israel’s Supreme Court can now intervene if, for example, the government passes a law that violates so-called “fundamental rights”. These laws guarantee basic rights, such as the right to equality and minority rights.

Minister Levine wants to get rid of that, because the Supreme Court would have too much power. According to him, the court interfered a lot in the decisions of the Council of Ministers and the legislation of Parliament. Exactly, the minister argues, is not good for democracy. “Time and time again people go to the polls, but time and time again it is the people who were not elected by the people who make the decisions.”

Amir Fox, a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem, talks about a change in the heart of Israeli governance. “The crux of the plan is to remove the only control and balance we have in our legal system. We don’t really have much control here in that regard. For example, we don’t have a Senate. So our Supreme Court is the only institution that can provide it here for that control.” and balance.”


Critics are particularly concerned about minorities in the country, such as Palestinians and LGBT people. According to Fox, this concern is justified.

He says, “The Israeli minister’s plan is similar to what we saw in Hungary, Poland and Turkey.” “The government controls the Supreme Court and there is no longer any control. In principle, the majority of Parliament can do whatever it wants, even if it goes against the rights of minorities, for example.”

Plans that conflict with minority rights are already being made. For example, the government wants to allow entrepreneurs to reject clients on the basis of their lifestyle, if it conflicts with the entrepreneur’s beliefs. For example, a hotel owner might be allowed to refuse a gay couple.

In Tel Aviv, dozens of activists take to the streets every day to protest this plan. One of them is Hailey:

Helicopter protests against Israeli government plans: ‘Everyone is here’

How many people will stand on their feet today and how many opponents of the reforms will remain to be seen. But there is clearly a lot of resistance.

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