uDespite massive protests, the controversial judicial reform in Israel is progressing rapidly. After hours of debate, the parliament in Jerusalem approved a change in the law on Monday evening, which is intended to make it much more difficult to declare a prime minister incapacitated. 61 out of 120 MEPs voted in favor and 51 against in the first reading. The rest were absent or abstained.
Two more readings are needed before the change comes into effect. According to media reports, Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing religious government wants to push through key elements of the controversial reform in fast-track procedures before the end of this month.
The draft stipulates that a three-quarters majority in parliament would be required to remove a prime minister from office. This dismissal would also only be possible for psychological or other health reasons. The move is intended to prevent the Supreme Court or the Attorney General’s Office from influencing an impeachment.
People have been protesting against the reform for ten weeks
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara had warned that the change could lead to “absurd situations”. It would create a “black hole” because it prevents any legal supervision.
A debate and vote on further aspects of the judicial reform were also planned in Parliament on Tuesday night. The amendments are intended to allow Parliament to overrule Supreme Court decisions by a simple majority. It also aims to limit the Supreme Court’s ability to overturn simple laws.
There have been massive protests against the judicial reform for ten weeks, but efforts to find a compromise have so far been unsuccessful. There are increasing warnings that Israel is heading for a dangerous state crisis.