Israel passes divisive law that limits the Supreme Court

Akash Arjun
Akash Arjun

Global Courant

STORY: Opposition lawmakers in the Knesset chanted “shame” and some tore up documents before walking out.

These protests came after it became clear that opponents could not stop a bitterly divisive plan to overhaul Israel’s judiciary from passing a parliamentary vote on Monday.

The bill, which limits the ability of the country’s Supreme Court to override decisions by the government and ministers, passed by a vote of 64 to zero in the 120-member legislature.

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When the vote was held, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu answered in the affirmative.

It is a political victory for his tenacious religious-nationalist coalition, but one that has provoked a political crisis and led to the largest mass anti-government protests in the country’s recent history.

Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets for weeks, blocking traffic and comparing Netanyahu to a dictator.

Two of the country’s largest banks said they would allow workers to demonstrate on Monday, without losing their wages.

A forum of some 150 of Israel’s largest companies went on strike, and two of the country’s largest malls said stores would remain closed.

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Critics say the overhaul would undermine a key pillar of Israeli democracy, and the protests have prompted warnings from top military officials about the state’s military readiness.

Supporters of the movement within Netanyahu’s coalition say the changes are necessary to restore balance between the various branches of government.

They posed for selfies and slapped each other on the back after the measure expired.

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The administration of US President Joe Biden urged the Israeli government to find a compromise.

But Monday’s vote comes after all such efforts appear to have failed.

In the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, protesters vowed they would not back down.

Israel passes divisive law that limits the Supreme Court

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