News and Analysis

Israel Passes Judicial Reform In Face Of Mass Left-Wing Protests
Noam Moskowitz – Knesset – Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, approved an amendment to the country’s Basic Law on Monday, standing staunchly against the Israeli Left, which has exploded in anger at seeing its control over the political arena erode.

The 64-0 vote, with all members of the right-wing bloc voting for the amendment and all members of the opposition boycotting the vote, was to curb the nation’s “reasonableness standard.” That standard enabled judges in Israel to apply a “reasonableness standard” to block decisions by elected officials that they believe are beyond the scope of what a responsible and reasonable authority would do.

The standard thereby gave the justices a de facto veto on most if not all government policies. The Israeli Supreme Court has always been dominated by leftists, and unlike the United States and other Western countries, enables justices on the court to pick their successors, thus giving the Left permanent control of the judiciary and thus control over government decisions.

The Left has somehow twisted its loss of control as a threat to democracy and launched protests around the country.

“We started by correcting the cause of reasonableness, as part of the important reform to correct the entire judicial system,” Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir stated, according to Israel National News. “The time has come to return the power to the public and stop the rule of the junta. Correcting the cause of reasonableness is an extremely important step, but we must pass the entire reform. Changing the Judicial Selection Committee, the cancellation of the Override Clause, changing the powers of the Attorney General. Bringing democracy back to Israel.”

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich added, “64 supporters against 56 opponents to the reduction of the cause of reasonableness. Tonight, democracy won.”

Minister of Aliyah and Integration Ofir Sofer agreed, saying, “Tonight, we passed an important amendment to the cause of reasonableness in the first reading. An amendment that will allow the government ministers to implement the policy for which we were elected. I congratulate Minister Yariv Levin and the chairman of the Constitution Committee, Simcha Rothman, and call on the members of the opposition to behave responsibly and heed the call of the Minister of Justice to negotiate for the benefit of the State of Israel.”

The opposition hurled criticism at the amendment; Former Prime Minister and opposition leader Yair Lapid called the right-wing government, “thieves in the night,” threatening, “Millions of Israelis will take to the streets tomorrow.”

Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Liberman echoed that the amended law poses “serious damage to democracy.”

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