The following is how democracy is preserved in Israel — when the Knesset passes a law by a majority, in legal fashion, and the Supreme Court decides to strike it down illegally, following that, the Law must reflect the Court’s ruling.
Except now the tyrannical Knesset chose to start passing judicial reform, which means democracy is being hosed down the drain – along with the water from the cannons used on anti-government protesters.
Simply put, (although nothing about Israeli politics is ever simple) this is the January 6th of Israel’s history. The country’s democratic identity will be called into question by the U.S. The American-Israeli alliance built on this identity may suffer as a consequence.
Biden has already urged Netanyahu to end his initial efforts to curb the Court’s “reasonableness” standard as a check on his government, whereby the judiciary can strike down any decision it deems “incompletely considered.” His advice for Bibi is unusual, after completely considering the fact that Biden is no fan of overbearing courts; the SCOTUS’s recent dismissal of affirmative action in college admissions and its dismantling of Biden’s student debt relief plan prompted his remark that “[t]his is not a normal court.” By not normal he must mean not reasonable.
In other countries, the deep state can permeate all corridors of power, and unelected judges can potentially kidnap democratic decisiveness from the hands of the citizenry. But in Israel, the only thing deep-statesmen need to worry about are the “Orthodox Knesset members who will focus on blocking the conscription of yeshiva students, defining who is a Jew, increase budgets to religious institutions, strike down the core curriculum and work against gender equality,” said Uri Regev, CEO of Hiddush: Freedom of Religion for Israel. If judicial reform succeeds, the “ultra-nationalist and ultra-religious” Knesset will be allowed to endanger civil liberties, economic prosperity, and Israel’s international standing.
And so this is the story of how a bill passed by a parliament, by a vote of 64-0, with all members of the governing coalition voting for it, has ruined democracy.
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