JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is not alone in his doubts and concerns over the judicial reforms, but he is now the leading voice in the government urging caution and calling for a recess in the new legislation. Gallant has taken a brave step which may cost him his position but may also place him as a leadership contender in the post-Netanyahu period.
Gallant’s request was simple and straightforward: Convene the cabinet to discuss the consequences of the judicial reforms. Gallant would have brought IDF Chief of Staff Hertzi Halevi and the heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet to warn the government of the security implications of a reform which could cause havoc in the military establishment and endanger Israel in a future conflict. After such dire warnings, a significant number of ministers would join Gallant’s call for a recess in legislation and he will be hailed by the left and center as a saviour of Israel’s democracy.
In his speech last night, Gallant spoke to the political center, stating that: “We need a change in the legal system, but such changes are made through negotiation and discourse. A victory for one of the parties will be a loss of the State of Israel. We must lead a participatory and unifying process.”
“For the sake of Israel’s security, the legislative process should be stopped, and negotiations should be held,” he said.
Gallant evoked what a majority of Israelis can identify with – the system may require change but not at the expense of our security as a nation faced with existential threats and numerous enemies.
Netanyahu, however, saw Gallant’s demand as a dagger strike in the coalition’s unified effort to pass the legislation. Gallant’s initiative could cause in irreparable rift in the Likud, since a number of ministers have quietly expressed similar opinions while Justice Minister Yariv Levin and others have threatened to resign if the reforms are not legislated.
For this reason Netanyahu refused Gallant’s demand to convene the Cabinet and discuss the legislation’s consequences, and on Thursday night delivered a speech in which he refused to freeze the bills, thus asserting his support for Levin’s camp. In another move, Netanyahu offered Avi Dichter the Defense Ministry if Gallant votes against legislating reforms, thus neutralizing a potential alliance between the two defense-oriented ministers.
A number of government officials have called Netanyahu’s refusal to convene the Cabinet at the request of a senior minister on such a crucial issue an unprecedented move.
One official called the move “madness,” saying that “not only the prime minister and the defense minister bear responsibility, but the entire government, through the cabinet. The ministers must know the meaning of and consequences of the processes they lead.”
Another source said: “Imagine that a war breaks out and the IDF is not competent. What will Netanyahu say to the commission of inquiry that will be established after the war? What will the cabinet members say? How will they be able to look the public in the eye and say that they did everything to prevent it?”
On Sunday the coalition continued its efforts to promote the legislation with the Law Committee voting on the law concerning the Judicial Selections Committee under acrimonious opposition pressure, but the rift in the Likud continues to simmer and threaten the government’s cohesion.
The worst thing the government is doing is ruling like it has a supermajority when it barely has a majority. Governments who act in this manner tend to lose all legitimacy.
Bibi is once again doing what he has done in the past with allies that don’t bow to everything he wants. It is the reason that he is not trusted by most of the Israeli political establishment.
In the end, he will lose his majority and there will be new elections with Likud replacing him with another candidate.
He brings it on himself.
It’s not in turmoil. They had a traitor in their midst…Gallant. Bibi fired him today. Mazel tov: Carry on
It’s a shame and very painful to see how the devil called left here in the USA and in Israel (Europe goes without saying) are destroying their own country, especially when they are loosing at the ballot box וכדי בזיון וקצף
How odd. Bibi promised stability from the most-experienced politician in Israel.
The more Bibi drags this out, the more our enemy has a chance of mobilizing and blocking us. He should have pushed this trough quicker. He surely should not have waited till after Pesach . Huge mistake