Israeli judiciary overhaul: Parliament begins judicial overhaul session with Netanyahu in hospital


Jerusalem
CNN

After six months of street protests, parliamentary maneuvering, compromise talks and increasingly urgent demands from Washington, DC, Israeli lawmakers opened the debate Sunday morning. First Judicial Reforms Bill A final vote should be taken.

This move comes from the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu At the hospital, a pacemaker was implanted.

Netanyahu has continued to press ahead, suspending his plans for a judicial system earlier this year in the face of widespread protests and international pressure.

He and his allies call these measures “reforms” and say they should realign powers between the courts, lawmakers and the government.

Opponents of the plan call it a coup and say it threatens to backfire Israel into a dictatorship by removing the most important check on government action.

Several lawmakers have requested time to discuss the so-called fairness bill, with debate starting at 10 a.m. Sunday local time and lasting 26 hours until noon the next day (Sunday 3aET to Monday 5aET).

It is the first part of a multifaceted judicial reform plan to come to a final vote in the Knesset and could be voted into law as early as Monday evening.

The Fairness Bill, backed by Netanyahu’s coalition government, would strip the Supreme Court of its power to declare government decisions unfair.

Other elements of the judicial overhaul would give the coalition government more control over the appointment of judges, and remove independent legal advisers from government ministries. Those bills have not progressed through the legislative process in a fair bill.

The Israel Bar Association is already preparing a legal challenge to the bill, a group of lawyers said on Sunday.

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Its executive, the Bar Council, is holding an emergency meeting to approve the decision to file a petition in the Supreme Court to overturn the Fairness Act if passed on Monday.

It also warns that the bar will be closed “as a protest against an undemocratic legislative process.” This means that the Bar Association does not provide professional services to its members and lawyers do not go on strike.

Netanyahu faces health problems after final vote Israeli leader A pacemaker was implanted early Sunday morning, according to a statement from his office.

The report said the procedure took place at Tel Hashomer Hospital. The Prime Minister fainted during the operation.

Netanyahu released a short video statement late Sunday, saying he was “feeling great” after the surgery. “I want to thank many of you who have asked how I am. I’m doing better. Tomorrow morning I will join my colleagues in the Knesset,” Netanyahu said in the 25-second video.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Israel again on Saturday to protest the resettlement.

Protesters in Jerusalem waved flags, blew horns, chanted “democracy” and took selfies, the culmination of protests that began in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.

Amir Levy/Getty Images

Thousands of Israelis marched in Jerusalem carrying the Israeli flag to protest the government’s reconstruction plan.

“We are not going to allow our democracy to be destroyed. Benjamin Netanyahu is a criminal and we must get rid of him,” protester Yair Amon told CNN, vowing that the demonstrations would not stop even if the Knesset passed the first part of the law.

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Meanwhile, the chief of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday took a stand against the growing number of Israelis who are vowing to stop volunteering for duty if the government’s controversial judicial overhaul plan becomes law.

“No service member has the right to say no longer to serve,” he said in an open letter to the military on Sunday.

“Even in these troubled days, I call on all reservists to separate civilian protests from reporting for duty to the security services. Calls not to report for duty harm the IDF and its readiness,” said Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Israel’s top military official.

Halevi’s letter comes after more than 1,000 Israeli Air Force reserve officers pledged to stop volunteering if the judicial overhaul bill is passed.

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