Knesset approves first part of controversial judicial overhaul

Israeli Knesset
(File photo: Jordan News)
The Israeli Knesset has given its final approval to a law that prevents the courts from reviewing the reasonableness of government and ministerial decisions, the first major bill to pass in the government’s judicial overhaul, Israeli media reported Monday.اضافة اعلان

The bill passed with 64 votes in favor and 0 against, with opposition lawmakers boycotting the final vote on the bill in protest. 

Within the Knesset, multiple last-minute attempts to amend the bill or to come to a broader procedural compromise with the opposition failed, and two compromise frameworks floated by a union leader and the president were rejected. A series of ideas for unilaterally softening the legislation, discussed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and key coalition leaders even as the Knesset was preparing to vote, also led nowhere.

The vote took place while tens of thousands of opponents protested outside the legislature in West Jerusalem. Weeks of protests had failed to dissuade the far right government from moving ahead with the controversial judicial overhaul amendments that have polarized the Israeli society and brought US-Israeli ties to a critical point. 

Critics see the far right coalition ending Israeli democracy and secular character and turning it into to an authoritarian state. The overhaul amendments will curtail the Supreme Court's oversight over government decisions.

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