Israel’s opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a rally against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government to overhaul the judicial system, outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.InternationalIndiaAfricaEarlier Wednesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog unveiled his proposal to replace the government’s intention to radically overturn the nation’s judicial system, warning that the threat of a “civil war” was “within touching distance.”Knesset opposition leader Yair Lapid has criticized the governing coalition for what he called its inadequate review and overnight rejection of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s proposed judicial reform plan. Lapid had also declared that his Yesh Atid party would support the blueprint in order to prevent a “civil war” in Israel.
"The framework presented yesterday by the president isn’t perfect. It isn’t what we wanted, but it is a fair compromise that allows us to live here together," Lapid said at a special press conference. "The alternative is serious harm to our economy and our national security, and an angry, confused society torn to pieces."
Lapid also pointed out that it only took the ruling coalition “17 minutes” to reject the proposal and declare that “the president … could go to hell” while they didn’t “even bother to study it.“Moreover, he also stated that his Yesh Atid party “accept[s] the president’s framework because there will only be losers in a civil war,” going on to urge other members of the Likud party, led by Netanyahu, to support Herzog’s proposal.”They know that in the future, every Israeli citizen will ask themselves: where was I in the winter of 2023? Was I silent when I saw my country being driven off a cliff?” Lapid added.Netanyahu himself has stated he will not allow the balance of power between politicians and the judiciary to be altered.In January, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin introduced a package of law reforms that would limit the powers of the Supreme Court by giving the Cabinet control over the selection of new judges, as well as allowing the Knesset to overturn court decisions by an absolute majority.WorldHundreds of Thousands Protest Against Legal Reform in Israel12 March, 02:36 GMTIn mid-February, the Israeli parliament approved the first part of the bill. The second part was approved by the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in early March.Opponents of the reform claim it will undermine democracy in Israel and bring the country to the brink of a social and constitutional crisis.