Israeli president urges Netanyahu to delay law overhaul

Israeli president urges Netanyahu to delay law overhaul

  • Post category:World

The Israeli president on Sunday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to postpone a controversial plan to overhaul the country’s judicial system and instead seek a compromise with his political opponents.

President Isaac Herzog made the call in a nationwide prime-time address a day before Netanyahu’s coalition takes its first steps to implement the plan in a parliamentary vote. The proposed reforms have sparked mass protests, opposition from large sections of Israeli society and even a veiled warning from President Joe Biden.

“I feel like we all feel like we’re on the verge of a collision, even a violent collision, a barrel of explosives before an explosion,” Herzog said.

Herzog’s work is largely ceremonial. But the president is meant to serve as a unifying force and moral compass for a deeply divided country.

Netanyahu and his supporters say the changes are needed to rein in a justice system that wields too much power.

But critics say the plan, which includes proposals to weaken Israel’s Supreme Court, will undermine the country’s fragile system of democratic control. They also say Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, is driven by a personal grudge against the justice system and that he and his allies have a deep conflict of interest.

“They want to destroy the system because the system hasn’t been nice to them,” said Eliad Shraga, leader of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel. “This is a hostile takeover by a bunch of crooks.”

The movement has planned a mass protest outside the Knesset or parliament for Monday, when Netanyahu’s coalition is expected to table the first laws for its sweeping overhaul. Tens of thousands of people are expected.

Herzog urged Netanyahu to postpone Monday’s vote and instead engage in dialogue with his opponents. He said both sides had valid points and offered a five-point plan as a basis for dialogue.

There was no immediate response from Netanyahu’s office.

The Associated Press


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