SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 2 February 2023, Thursday |

Israel’s Herzog seeks to avert crisis over judicial shakeup plan

Over a contentious proposal to limit the judiciary, Israel’s president warned on Sunday that the nation faced a constitutional crisis and said that he was mediating between the parties.

Currently serving his sixth term as prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to exert control over the Supreme Court, which members of his religious-nationalist coalition claim has overstepped its bounds and is elitist.

The High Court’s ability to overturn government actions or Knesset bills would be restricted by proposed legislation, which would also give politicians more influence over the judge-selection process.

Critics of the Supreme Court, particularly on the right, accuse judges of encroaching increasingly into the political sphere and overstepping their authority to pursue a left wing agenda.

Opponents, who held nationwide protests on Saturday, say it would cripple judicial independence, foster corruption, set back minority rights and deprive Israel’s courts of credibility that helps fend off war-crimes charges abroad.

“We are in the grips of a profound disagreement that is tearing our nation apart. This conflict worries me deeply, as it worries many across Israel and the (Jewish) Diaspora,” President Isaac Herzog said in a statement.

Herzog, whose post lacks executive powers and is designed to unify an often fractious Israeli society, said he was working non-stop with the relevant parties to promote dialogue.

“I am now focused on … two critical roles that I believe I bear as president at this hour: averting a historic constitutional crisis and stopping the continued rift within our nation.”

“We are in the grips of a profound disagreement that is tearing our nation apart. This conflict worries me deeply, as it worries many across Israel and the (Jewish) Diaspora,” President Isaac Herzog said in a statement.

Herzog, whose post lacks executive powers and is designed to unify an often fractious Israeli society, said he was working non-stop with the relevant parties to promote dialogue.

“I am now focused on … two critical roles that I believe I bear as president at this hour: averting a historic constitutional crisis and stopping the continued rift within our nation.”

    Source:
  • Reuters