Israel – Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was sacked by Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, a day after he called for a month-long pause in the government’s controversial judicial reform process.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday, March 26, 24 hours after the latter called for the government’s controversial judicial reform process to be suspended for a month.
The reform that seeks to increase the power of elected officials over that of magistrates endangers, according to its detractors, the democratic nature of the State of Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies see it as necessary to restore a balance of power between elected officials and the Supreme Court, which they see as politicized.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to remove Defense Minister Yoav Gallant from his post,” the prime minister’s office said in a brief statement.
In a speech on Saturday night, Yoav Gallant, who belongs to the same right-wing Likud party as Benjamin Netanyahu, said he feared that continued divisions among the population over this issue would create a “real threat to Israel’s security.” .
“Israel’s security has always been and always will be my life’s mission,” he tweeted Sunday in response to his dismissal.
The day before, he called for the “legislative process to be halted” for a month, ahead of a crucial week in which more legislation and more mass protests are expected.
“I am attached to Likud’s values (…) but important changes at the national level must be made through consultation and dialogue,” the minister added.
Yoav Gallant also called for an end to the demonstrations, at a time when some 200,000 people gathered against the reform in Tel Aviv, according to estimates by the Israeli media.
The demonstrations have taken place every week since the presentation of a reform project in January by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, one of the most right-wing in the history of Israel.
‘Not brave for Israel’s security’
“Netanyahu can fire Gallant, but he can’t fire reality and he can’t fire the people of Israel who oppose the coalition madness,” opposition leader Yair Lapid tweeted.
“Israel’s prime minister is a threat to Israel’s security,” he wrote.
On Saturday night, he had welcomed Yoav Gallant’s words, describing them as “not brave (…) for Israel’s security.”
Two Likud lawmakers also expressed their support for Yoav Gallant on Twitter on Saturday, raising the question of whether the government could command a majority if it proceeds to a vote.
Israel’s main allies, including Washington, have questioned plans to give politicians more power and reduce the role of the Supreme Court.
US President Joe Biden has expressed “concern” about these judicial reforms, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday.
On Friday in London, where he received Benjamin Netanyahu, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stressed “the importance of respecting the democratic values that underpin the relationship (between the two countries), including in the judicial reform project in Israel,” according to a spokesman in Downing Street.
“End of the Divide”
Israeli parliamentarians are expected to vote in the coming days on one of the central elements of the reform, at the center of the concerns of its detractors, anticipating the change in the process for appointing judges.
In a televised speech on Thursday night, Benjamin Netanyahu, who until then had kept out of the issue, vowed to “end the division among the people,” while stressing his determination to move forward. with the reform.
The following day, he was called to order by the courts, which deemed his public intervention “illegal” given his ongoing investigations into corruption.
And on Sunday, the Supreme Court gave the prime minister a week to respond to a petition from an NGO calling for him to be punished for “contempt of court” after the speech.
According to the Movement for Quality Government in Israel petition, seen by AFP, Benjamin Netanyahu, accused in a series of corruption cases, violated a court agreement that says an accused prime minister had no right to act in an area that could place it in a conflict of interest, according to a 2020 Supreme Court ruling.
Original article in France 24.fr
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