Supposed to stay above political affairs, he earlier warned in mid-March that Israel could be heading for a “disaster”. Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday, March 27, called on the government to stop ” immediately “ the legislative work on the judicial reform project that is dividing the country. Mr. Herzog made this call on Twitter after thousands of people demonstrated in Tel Aviv overnight from Sunday to Monday following the dismissal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Yoav Galant, his defense minister, a supporter of a pause in the judicial reform that the government wants to pass through Parliament. According to Israeli media, Mr. Netanyahu should speak publicly on Monday morning on this reform.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in response to the news, many waving Israeli flags. A crowd gathered in front of the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, managing at one point to cross a security cordon, before the police used water cannons to disperse the protesters. In Tel Aviv, the crowd converged on Kaplan Street in the city center, the epicenter of protests since the presentation, in January, of the reform project which divides the country.
Protests in Central Tel Aviv https://t.co/yveHG9ctgr
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The United States declared “deeply concerned”and mentioned “the urgent need for a compromise”. “Democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of US-Israel relations”warned White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson. “Fundamental changes for a democratic system should be carried out with the broadest possible base of popular support”she pointed out.
With this reform, the government, one of the most right-wing in the history of Israel, wants to increase the power of elected officials over that of magistrates. But, according to its detractors, the project jeopardizes the democratic character of the State of Israel. Mr. Netanyahu and his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies believe it is necessary to restore a balanced balance of power between elected officials and the Supreme Court, which they consider politicized.
On Saturday, Yoav Galant, former commander of the Israeli navy, warned that the justice reform represented a “clear, immediate and tangible threat” for state security, asking to suspend the project. He added, during a televised address, to be ready to “pay any price” for the good of the country.
The announcement of his dismissal led to the resignation of Israel’s consul general in New York, Asaf Zamir. The diplomat called the dismissal of the minister on Twitter a “dangerous decision” who has it “convinced that[il] could no longer continue to represent this government..
Source: Le Monde