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BansheeOne

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10 hours ago, Markus Becker said:

Not by elected politicians. That's even worse IMO. 

The Israeli people clearly dont agree.

 

6 hours ago, Angrybk said:

Just a data point, but my Israeli friends are fully protesting. Lots of "our vet dads fought like maniacs in the hopes of making a decent country" etc.

The event I found most moving was when a group of Veterans went and 'liberated' a Centurion memorial that was parked on the Golan heights. Almost explicitly saying 'Take away our rights, we will take back the victory we gave you'. Which when its remembered the political turmoil that followed the 1973 war, I found fairly persuasive. No idea whether they gave it back yet, it could have done with a lick of paint...

 

2 hours ago, futon said:

I wonder if there's something specific that the Netanyahu gov/group wants to do that sees the supreme court to be in the way. 

 

Pardoning Bibi?

27 minutes ago, futon said:

So what's Israeli right wing then? Judaism or nothing?

One thing I found fairly alarming the map the other week, that showed Israeli borders encompassing not only Palestinian areas (which some of them deny exists) but also some Jordanian land. I supposed the charitable view would be to say its Zionism turned up to 11, but im sure there are plenty of Zionists who disagree with everything they are doing. I think its just a naked power grab, with the assumption nothing would stop them. After all, they are doing it via constitutional methods, so its not as if they are going to jail for trying.

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Well Im just watching CNN, and the airport has been closed due to the large amount of people arround it. That hasnt happened before except in time of war. Its also being described as the largest protest in Israeli history.

No, I cant say ALL Israeli citizens are against it. But if anyone is for it, they dont seem to be coming out protesting for it.

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1 hour ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

...

Pardoning Bibi?

One thing I found fairly alarming the map the other week, that showed Israeli borders encompassing not only Palestinian areas (which some of them deny exists) but also some Jordanian land. I supposed the charitable view would be to say its Zionism turned up to 11, but im sure there are plenty of Zionists who disagree with everything they are doing. I think its just a naked power grab, with the assumption nothing would stop them. After all, they are doing it via constitutional methods, so its not as if they are going to jail for trying.

Pardoning from me? No, just curious to identify the motive as maybe the motive is related to getting over w/e that may impede a heavier hand on Palistanian areas. At some point, long term of being on edge may making an old-style solution tempting to seek. But yeah, maybe its just domestic politics where one side is reaching too far for keeping power.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public statement set for 10 a.m. is delayed amid reports that the far-right parties in his coalition are threatening to break up the government if he halts the judicial overhaul.

No new time is giving for the speech, which had been expected to include an announcement of a freeze to the controversial legislation.

Channel 12 news reports that National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has threatened to quit the coalition, during a meeting of faction heads.

Unnamed Likud lawmakers tell the Walla news site that Justice Minister Yariv Levin is pressuring Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Ben Gvir to threaten Netanyahu with the dissolution of the government if the legal overhaul is stopped.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/netanyahu-said-to-delay-overhaul-speech-amid-reports-of-revolt-from-far-right-ministers/

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3 hours ago, NickM said:

"End 'em" for about ten minutes, before they elected yet again...

This time it's quite different. The most generous polls give them 55 seats (out of 120, down from the 64 they currently have). 

Only about 30% of Likud voters are supporting the legislative push, and that was before they became really aggressive with it and shut down the various calls for compromise. The rest oppose the overhaul, and a minority support it but only via public consensus.

2 hours ago, futon said:

So what's Israeli right wing then? Judaism or nothing?

There is a case to be made that there is no real "right" anymore, and to an extent even the left. 

For a bit less than a decade, the traditional "right wing" views have dissipated, and the naivety associated with the left wing has also disappeared. 

The right wing was characterized as being focused on defense (along with a media push to exaggerate security threats), capitalistic, and "strong" (in the diplomatic sense). But over the years, it became very clear that the center has actually been much more competent on defense and foreign relations, and even far more capitalistic as the Likud has started copying its economical policies from the Israeli Labor party, and made deals with the workers' union.

The left, in turn, have also shedded much of their remaining socialist policies and security blindness, and shifted their votes to the center.

2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

The event I found most moving was when a group of Veterans went and 'liberated' a Centurion memorial that was parked on the Golan heights. Almost explicitly saying 'Take away our rights, we will take back the victory we gave you'. Which when its remembered the political turmoil that followed the 1973 war, I found fairly persuasive. No idea whether they gave it back yet, it could have done with a lick of paint...

They were caught and the police confiscated the tank and put it back. The protesters then made a cardboard tank as a symbol. But had it been done today, they may have had more success. I want to remind that all protests are actually coordinated with the police, and while some clashes occur, the police occasionally supports them.

2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

One thing I found fairly alarming the map the other week, that showed Israeli borders encompassing not only Palestinian areas (which some of them deny exists) but also some Jordanian land. I supposed the charitable view would be to say its Zionism turned up to 11, but im sure there are plenty of Zionists who disagree with everything they are doing. I think its just a naked power grab, with the assumption nothing would stop them. After all, they are doing it via constitutional methods, so its not as if they are going to jail for trying.

That was a map Smotrich showed, and from which, gladly, Bibi distanced himself and condemned.

There was public backlash from the center-left, and while it was expected the right wing won't condemn it, it was interesting to see they didn't praise him for it either. Except for some fringe elements. 

However, Jordan reacted in the most childish way possible, by having not their counterpart of Smotrich post a similar flag, but putting it in the center of their parliament. Like squabbling children they and Smotrich are.

28 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Well Im just watching CNN, and the airport has been closed due to the large amount of people arround it. That hasnt happened before except in time of war. Its also being described as the largest protest in Israeli history.

No, I cant say ALL Israeli citizens are against it. But if anyone is for it, they dont seem to be coming out protesting for it.

First time it happened due to a strike, yes. However, Ben Gurion airport was targeted by protesters recently. Before Bibi left for Italy, protesters blocked the entrance to the airport so he couldn't leave. He had to fly in via a helicopter. Another curious thing is that he ordered a diversion maneuver, so 2 helicopters took off, one police and one army, and the air force didn't even know they're used as a diversion - which fueled the protests and led to some pilots in that unit to speak publicly, which is normally forbidden.

5 minutes ago, futon said:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public statement set for 10 a.m. is delayed amid reports that the far-right parties in his coalition are threatening to break up the government if he halts the judicial overhaul.

No new time is giving for the speech, which had been expected to include an announcement of a freeze to the controversial legislation.

Channel 12 news reports that National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has threatened to quit the coalition, during a meeting of faction heads.

Unnamed Likud lawmakers tell the Walla news site that Justice Minister Yariv Levin is pressuring Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Ben Gvir to threaten Netanyahu with the dissolution of the government if the legal overhaul is stopped.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/netanyahu-said-to-delay-overhaul-speech-amid-reports-of-revolt-from-far-right-ministers/

This is a stunt. Netanyahu always used this tactic of "oh no I definitely wouldn't try to do anything to prevent my trial. I will let the justice system do its work, and they'll inevitably conclude I am innocent anyway. But I can't be blamed for having such caring coalition members that only want my well-being."

He is just using these pawns to lash out and demand legislation to continue as if it's against the wishes of Netanyahu, showing him as the moderate bound by law.

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4 hours ago, NickM said:

"End 'em" for about ten minutes, before they elected yet again...

Indeed while this may well spend the real, actual, no nonsense this time political end of Netanyahu (he is supposedly doing it to stay out of prison to begin with after all), clearly the larger issues which have allowed him to come back with different partners time after time won't go away - the rather American political polarization expressed in a rather Italian party system, plus the very Israeli divide between secular, national-religious and ultra-orthodox Jews; not to talk of the Arab Israelis.

My working definition for a stable democracy, based upon contrary experiences in post-WW II West and East Germany, is that a government can survive about three percent of the population demanding its resignation in the streets without calling in the tanks. With Israelis already at double that turnout, this particular example is going to be ... interesting. It's not even just people at home protesting; when Netanyahu visited Berlin recently, the sizable local Israeli expat community promptly staged its own demo against him, though it attracted only four or five hundred.

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17 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

This time it's quite different. The most generous polls give them 55 seats (out of 120, down from the 64 they currently have). 

Only about 30% of Likud voters are supporting the legislative push, and that was before they became really aggressive with it and shut down the various calls for compromise. The rest oppose the overhaul, and a minority support it but only via public consensus.

There is a case to be made that there is no real "right" anymore, and to an extent even the left. 

For a bit less than a decade, the traditional "right wing" views have dissipated, and the naivety associated with the left wing has also disappeared. 

The right wing was characterized as being focused on defense (along with a media push to exaggerate security threats), capitalistic, and "strong" (in the diplomatic sense). But over the years, it became very clear that the center has actually been much more competent on defense and foreign relations, and even far more capitalistic as the Likud has started copying its economical policies from the Israeli Labor party, and made deals with the workers' union.

The left, in turn, have also shedded much of their remaining socialist policies and security blindness, and shifted their votes to the center.

They were caught and the police confiscated the tank and put it back. The protesters then made a cardboard tank as a symbol. But had it been done today, they may have had more success. I want to remind that all protests are actually coordinated with the police, and while some clashes occur, the police occasionally supports them.

That was a map Smotrich showed, and from which, gladly, Bibi distanced himself and condemned.

There was public backlash from the center-left, and while it was expected the right wing won't condemn it, it was interesting to see they didn't praise him for it either. Except for some fringe elements. 

However, Jordan reacted in the most childish way possible, by having not their counterpart of Smotrich post a similar flag, but putting it in the center of their parliament. Like squabbling children they and Smotrich are.

First time it happened due to a strike, yes. However, Ben Gurion airport was targeted by protesters recently. Before Bibi left for Italy, protesters blocked the entrance to the airport so he couldn't leave. He had to fly in via a helicopter. Another curious thing is that he ordered a diversion maneuver, so 2 helicopters took off, one police and one army, and the air force didn't even know they're used as a diversion - which fueled the protests and led to some pilots in that unit to speak publicly, which is normally forbidden.

This is a stunt. Netanyahu always used this tactic of "oh no I definitely wouldn't try to do anything to prevent my trial. I will let the justice system do its work, and they'll inevitably conclude I am innocent anyway. But I can't be blamed for having such caring coalition members that only want my well-being."

He is just using these pawns to lash out and demand legislation to continue as if it's against the wishes of Netanyahu, showing him as the moderate bound by law.

Thanks MZ, thats very interesting.

Any predictions on what happens next?

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3 minutes ago, BansheeOne said:

Indeed while this may well spend the real, actual, no nonsense this time political end of Netanyahu (he is supposedly doing it to stay out of prison to begin with after all), clearly the larger issues which have allowed him to come back with different partners time after time won't go away - the rather American political polarization expressed in a rather Italian party system, plus the very Israeli divide between secular, national-religious and ultra-orthodox Jews; not to talk of the Arab Israelis.

My working definition for a stable democracy, based upon contrary experiences in post-WW II West and East Germany, is that a government can survive about three percent of the population demanding its resignation in the streets without calling in the tanks. With Israelis already at double that turnout, this particular example is going to be ... interesting. It's not even just people at home protesting; when Netanyahu visited Berlin recently, the sizable local Israeli expat community promptly staged its own demo against him, though it attracted only four or five hundred.

Biggest general strike since the British mandate. So Its rather refreshing that Israel has learned something from us. :D

 

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1 hour ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Thanks MZ, thats very interesting.

Any predictions on what happens next?

The way I see it, there are 3 options.

1. The coalition passes the legislation, survives a full term, and uses progressively harsher methods to quell protests. The coalition as-is gets scattered after that and fails to achieve any meaningful power. Its politicians are dumped and become inconsequential. A long period of restoration begins, with Israel possibly having its 1st lost generation.

2. Coalition weathers the protests, but instead of being voted out, the coalition simply extends its term indefinitely. Legal disobedience is no longer a taboo.

3. The protests explode into violence, government institutions are taken by force. The army is called upon to facilitate an orderly change of government (as opposed to a military coup in which the military overthrows the government itself).

 

EDIT: It's also important to see that while the numbers (of protesters) could be higher, those who are already protesting, are not just mildly angry, they're furious. For many reasons we're keeping it peaceful, but if the government decides to escalate, or just ignore the protests for too long, well... just know that there isn't any noteworthy reluctance to use violence if necessary.

Edited by Mighty_Zuk
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This is perhaps a reasonable explanation of "WTF were they thinking".

Quote

Things fall apart

The firing of Defense Minister Gallant brings to a climax an astonishingly fast and wholly self-inflicted collapse of the Israeli right

By HAVIV RETTIG GUR Today, 1:07 pm

The Israeli right is gripped in a deep malaise.

It has its argument about the over-powerful High Court. It believes that argument. It’s been making it for decades. Now, suddenly at the helm of a wholly rightist coalition that no centrist or leftist faction can fell, it believed it had a moment of opportunity.

The government was sworn in at the end of December. By January 4, the great judicial reform was announced by Justice Minister Yariv Levin. The opposition, everyone understood, would rail and rage; old elites watching their displacement would not go quietly into the night. But in the end, the frustration of three decades of judicial overreach, now hardened into a grim determination, would see the coalition through.

That was the plan. Then everything started to go wrong.

It wasn’t the usual things. Former justices did indeed rage on cue. Law scholars signed petitions. But the right-wing coalition was ready with answers. The Israeli court had swollen far beyond anything comparable in the West. On dry but fundamental questions — the power of the court in vetting appointments to itself, the expansion of standing (who can appeal) and justiciability (what issues the court can take up), and on and on — the Israeli court was not, as the right has it, “a judicial dictatorship,” but it was an outlier in the democratic world.

It was wholly reasonable and legitimate to seek to rein it in, and indeed it was once a serious contention of scholars on left and right alike.

For two long months, the right misunderstood the events. The strategy was simple: Pull the Band-Aid off fast, without blinking or wavering. The main problem, Levin and his partner in the reform MK Simcha Rothman believed, would be Benjamin Netanyahu, who has always favored quiet over meaningful, controversial action.

So the decision was made: No debate, engagement or negotiation until the very end of the legislative process would create as few opportunities as possible for a right-wing collapse. Justice Minister Levin refused to give interviews. Calls went out for the opposition to negotiate — but negotiate over what? Levin refused to slow the legislation. The original proposal was extreme even according to its own authors (speaking off-record, of course).

To the half of the country that hadn’t voted for the coalition, the extreme version was the goal, not a tactic on the way to a more moderate version. One doesn’t negotiate the dismantling of democracy on the breakneck schedule of the dismantlers.

In mid-February, one senior figure closely involved in the reform told this writer, “It’s not yet time to compromise.” The early protests, the calls even from supporters of judicial reform to moderate, to explain, to seriously address the growing sense in the streets that this was a full-blown assault on democracy — were rebuffed by right-wing political strategists.

The old elites, they explained, were angry that their cheese was moving.

’I don’t want to defend you’

By the time the political right had grasped the scale of its mistake, it was too late.

It happened at different points for different people, escalating over the past month and reaching a noticeable climax last week, when even impassioned supporters of judicial reform — of this judicial reform — started to rail against the government.

[...]

It was a sentiment that seemed to suddenly overtake the right. Some spoke of a “competition of folly” among lawmakers.

Some even noticed that it may not be enough to criticize merely the look of the thing. Of the 141 bills advanced by the coalition (at last count), there were those that would allow police searches of private homes without warrants, appoint 12 additional MKs to the coalition beyond the 120 elected lawmakers to allow the coalition to ignore the parliamentary opposition altogether, and give the ruling party control over the Central Elections Committee.

And all of that is distinct from the actual judicial shakeup, whose most radical and problematic version was still on the Knesset docket until just the past two weeks, and was barely modified even after that.

For a coalition that insisted to anyone who would listen that its reform was about advancing democracy, it seemed to go out of its way to convince any but its most loyal supporters otherwise.

[...]

The right turns

It’s curiously difficult to determine precisely how many Israelis actually support judicial reform. Polls put levels of support at anywhere from 17% — a weekend survey that asked about the specific reform now being pushed by the government — to 90%, a figure drawn from internal polling on the right that seems to have played a part in the government’s strategy planning and presentation of the reform back in January.

The way you ask the question seems to produce radically different answers. And the answers themselves are a moving target, as the idea of remaking the judiciary has left the realm of substantive debate and become a touchstone of political identity.

With those caveats, it’s still possible to hazard a basic outline of Israeli public opinion: A significant majority appears to support some kind of judicial reform, and a significant majority opposes the specific reform being pushed by the government.

In a weekend poll by the Globes business journal, for example, just 17% said they supported the reform as-is, while 25% said they supported “some of its elements,” and 43% opposed the reform entirely.

It’s clear, too, that the opposition is far more afraid and mobilized. Asked if they’d personally attended a protest, an astonishing 19% of respondents said yes — one in five Israelis. Just 2% of Israelis said they’d attended every protest. Most of the protesters (15% of all respondents) attended between one and four times. That is, protests that regularly draw 200,000 people represent at least five times as many protesters in the broader population.

Firing Gallant

It was in this heady moment, with an increasingly bitter right-wing activist base that believes that the government, not the opposition, created this moment, and facing a growing protest movement already actively joined by one-fifth of the population, that Netanyahu fired his defense minister on Sunday over his call to pause the reform.

It was the catalyst that revealed just how much larger the protest movement could grow.

Hebrew-language Twitter began to fill up with a new voice: right-wingers, Likud voters, even reform supporters, suddenly grown weary of the government and looking to take a stand.

And it hit the political echelons almost immediately.

“We’ve paid a heavy price,” Likud’s Miki Zohar lamented, for “failing to explain” the reform. Wary of facing Gallant’s fate, Zohar didn’t call for a freeze, but called to support Netanyahu if he should do so.

The view that the government, not Netanyahu’s “left” or “anarchists,” was responsible for the disaster was suddenly obvious to all.

[...]

Squandered

Where does the right go from here?

It declared a dramatic change to Israel’s constitutional order as one declares a war. It advanced in a blitzkrieg through a deeply divided country, while signaling at full volume that it intends to do away with basic liberal protections. It started with a radical version of its own reform which some its own advocates now claim was a mere tactic, but which in practice would have gutted the Supreme Court and dismantled most of the political system’s checks and balances.

It didn’t debate, didn’t listen, didn’t try to convince until very late in the game, until it had grown frightened of the blowback. Until it was too late.

And it did all that in a country where polls show broad support for some version of judicial reform.

Never in the history of the country has so much political capital and hard-won electoral success been so swiftly and comprehensively squandered. Every minute that has passed since January 4 has been a neck-and-neck race between the Levin-Rothman-Netanyahu legislative stampede and the right’s hemorrhaging of its political capital.

Everything is still in the air. No one quite knows where the pieces are going to land. But no matter who wins that race, the damage wrought by the past three months of folly and hubris will not be quickly mended.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/things-fall-apart-2/

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9 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

That is pretty much correct.

Israel's center-left population has been bothered by many laws Bibi and co passed over the years, but this is seen as the last straw. That is why we are protesting (I am part of the political center-left). 

The center-left are liberal in every sense of the word, and are more connected ideologically to the US and Europe. But they are not the only liberal camp in Israel. Many of the Likud voters are also liberal, and one effect of the protest is a fairly significant votes drain from the Likud toward centrist parties.

The Likud and Bibi's elite in general, are afraid of this and they're going all in now, because an election will end them. 

Isn't an election at some point inevitable? Surely there's nothing they could do to prevent that from occurring at some point in the future?

EDIT: I just read the post where you mentioned they considered/proposed adding a dozen positions to the 120 existing seats by appointment. Is that a thing they can legally do? Just pass laws that say they own the legislature now?

Edited by Josh
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9 hours ago, futon said:

So what's Israeli right wing then? Judaism or nothing?

I think in this particular case, "right" means the religious affiliated parties - ultra orthodox and such. A quick google search implies that the current coalition is composed of the Religious Zionism (14), Shas (11), Torah Judaism (7), along with Netanyahu's own Likud party (32) which is more center-rightish than the religious parties and tends to be "right" more in the sense of security/settlers related topics rather than religious considerations.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

EDIT: I just read the post where you mentioned they considered/proposed adding a dozen positions to the 120 existing seats by appointment. Is that a thing they can legally do? Just pass laws that say they own the legislature now?

Some volatile parliamentary democracies like Greece have a majority bonus system where the strongest party in an election gets extra seats added to ensure stability of government. In principle that would address the issue of frequent new elections in Israel because one of a half dozen mini-partners in a government coalition took their ball and went home over some disagreement.

It's not the only way of course; Germany has the five-percent minimum threshold for similar reasons, to avoid fragmentation in parliament out of experience with the same problems in the Weimar Republic. However, with the emergence of new parties, with which some others won't work under any circumstances, we've still seen parliaments deadlock recently (the state of Thuringia is an example). Also, a potentially significant number of voters doesn't get represented. For Israel, it's probably not something the minor parties in government would allow to be introduced.

Similar for a straight district-based first-past-the-post system as in the US, which has its own issues. No system is perfect. And as usual, just one measure may not be problematic. But if, as the TOI analyzis above mentions, you also give the ruling parties control of the election committee, immunize the prime minister against prosecution, give parliament the power to overrule the supreme court ... that's the way it went in Poland and Hungary, they took bits employed by other countries, combined them to cancel checks and balances, then when called on it say "but you have this rule, too, and you also have that regulation, and you use the same process ..."

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2 hours ago, Josh said:

Isn't an election at some point inevitable? Surely there's nothing they could do to prevent that from occurring at some point in the future?

EDIT: I just read the post where you mentioned they considered/proposed adding a dozen positions to the 120 existing seats by appointment. Is that a thing they can legally do? Just pass laws that say they own the legislature now?

I don't think you read that from me. The coalition did at some point float the idea of adding new seats for themselves. I referred to another idea they floated - extending the term. Basically, every year extend it by another year. This way they can cancel democracy in the most straightforward way. 

At this point, I think they're just trying to break as many taboos as possible, so I don't think that outright cancelling all future elections is too far fetched.

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41 minutes ago, BansheeOne said:

Some volatile parliamentary democracies like Greece have a majority bonus system where the strongest party in an election gets extra seats added to ensure stability of government. In principle that would address the issue of frequent new elections in Israel because one of a half dozen mini-partners in a government coalition took their ball and went home over some disagreement.

It's not the only way of course; Germany has the five-percent minimum threshold for similar reasons, to avoid fragmentation in parliament out of experience with the same problems in the Weimar Republic. However, with the emergence of new parties, with which some others won't work under any circumstances, we've still seen parliaments deadlock recently (the state of Thuringia is an example). Also, a potentially significant number of voters doesn't get represented. For Israel, it's probably not something the minor parties in government would allow to be introduced.

Similar for a straight district-based first-past-the-post system as in the US, which has its own issues. No system is perfect. And as usual, just one measure may not be problematic. But if, as the TOI analyzis above mentions, you also give the ruling parties control of the election committee, immunize the prime minister against prosecution, give parliament the power to overrule the supreme court ... that's the way it went in Poland and Hungary, they took bits employed by other countries, combined them to cancel checks and balances, then when called on it say "but you have this rule, too, and you also have that regulation, and you use the same process ..."

This touches on one of the dumbest arguments the coalition made for the legal overhaul, but somehow the most convincing for their audience - justify actions as democratic by alleging to draw them from other more democratic nations. The "right wing" crowd doesn't see that they actually have an entire legal system, and not a legal snippet.

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11 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I don't think you read that from me. The coalition did at some point float the idea of adding new seats for themselves. I referred to another idea they floated - extending the term. Basically, every year extend it by another year. This way they can cancel democracy in the most straightforward way. 

At this point, I think they're just trying to break as many taboos as possible, so I don't think that outright cancelling all future elections is too far fetched.

Apologies, I don't know where I read that. I don't think it was even on this thread. But yes, just postponing election I suppose fills the goal.

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https://www.jordannews.jo/Section-20/Middle-East/Two-Knesset-members-propose-law-banning-spread-of-Christianity-in-Israel-27672

Quote

Two Knesset members propose law banning spread of Christianity in Israel

Legislation, if passed, would send violators to prison for 1–2 years

AMMAN — Two members of the Israeli Knesset have introduced a bill that would ban all efforts to spread Christianity in the land where the Jesus Christ was born, Jo24 reported.

The bill, introduced just before Palm Sunday and Passover, two important holidays in the Christian calendar, threatens violators with imprisonment, according to the All Israel News outlet.

The proposed legislation would ban "all efforts by persons of one faith who wish in any way to discuss or attempt to persuade adherents of other faiths to consider changing their current religious beliefs", according to the outlet.

Quote

Apparently, the primary goal of the bill, according to All Israel News, is to make it illegal for followers of Christianity to encourage Jews to follow their religion, according to All Israel News.

The production and dissemination of videos online explaining the Bible to Jews or Muslims in Israel would be illegal under the bill.

The outlet stated that the draft law considers "books, other printed literature, online articles, podcasts, or other forms of media that explains the life and ministry of Jesus and his message found in the New Testament" to be illegal.

 

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7 hours ago, Josh said:

I think in this particular case, "right" means the religious affiliated parties - ultra orthodox and such. A quick google search implies that the current coalition is composed of the Religious Zionism (14), Shas (11), Torah Judaism (7), along with Netanyahu's own Likud party (32) which is more center-rightish than the religious parties and tends to be "right" more in the sense of security/settlers related topics rather than religious considerations.

I figured doing a quick question to TN before doing a quick question to Google on this one (^^)

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7 hours ago, sunday said:

The title and description don't match. There is nothing in the bill that explicitly mentions Christianity, or any religion at all.

They refer to it as an "anti-missionary" law, but missionary activity can be conducted by any religion, despite the name originating from a Christian group.

I think they definitely intended to target Christian missionaries, but in its current form the bill could actually be interpreted as targeting Jewish ones as well, and that would do more harm to ultra religious Jewish groups than to anyone else. Imagine no more bible studies at school, no more state funding for religious schools that don't teach core subjects (math, language, science etc), no more funding for Yeshivas where people can legally avoid military service.

Honestly I'm sick and tired of religious nutjobs on the train offering me to join their prayers or whatever while I'm watching satanic rituals on my phone. Missionary activity should be banned across all religions, IMO.

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https://thefederalist.com/2023/03/27/israels-judicial-system-is-the-dream-of-the-american-left/

 

Israel’s Judicial System Is The Dream Of The American Left

No constitution. No limiting principles of governance. Entrenched leftist judges who get to appoint their own successors in perpetuity. Courts that offer arbitrary, expedient, constantly evolving, sometimes contradictory rulings to block laws passed by duly-elected, center-right governments. An attorney general empowered to barelected leaders from participating in national debates. Sounds like a progressive paradise.

This is the reality of the Israeli high court, which is likely imbued with more power than any other in the Western world. It is not always wrong. It is not always nakedly partisan. But it has power to act as a judicial dictatorship, and often does. 

And after Benjamin Netanyahu’s government proposed reforming this insane system — procedural reforms that would be in place no matter who was in power — the left acted as the contemporary left always acts when it doesn’t get its way. It got hysterical. The mass protests that erupted were hardly “spontaneous,” though, contrary to many reports in the establishment media. Most of the demonstrations were organized by Israel’s biggest unions and egged on by foreigners. Because a less powerful judiciary threatens the center-left’s power. 

A country without a constitution or bill of rights, and only a single house of parliament — one that, by the nature of the system, is controlled by the prime minister (or vice versa) — will struggle to maintain any genuine checks and balances. The direct democratic character of Israel’s government, one that American progressives would like to emulate, gives both too much power to the prime minister and too much power to fringe parties the prime minister needs to keep in line to rule. It’s a dysfunctional mess.

But the nation’s judicial system is even worse. Israel’s political system was created by leftists who envisioned a one-party state. From its inception, the nation’s socialists suppressed — sometimes violently — political opposition. And in the 1950s, a ruling Labor Party preempted the opposition from infiltrating the courts by empowering judges to veto appointees to the bench. This created a self-perpetuating, generationally cocooned judiciary that functions without any set of cohesive legal principles or oversight.

Until the 1970s, when Likud challenged the political primacy of Labor, this high court functioned well enough. By the first half of the 1990s, when it was clear the center-right was here to stay, the Knesset passed additional “basic laws” — piecemeal, quasi-constitutional bills that are more like suggestions than commands — with names like the “Human Dignity and Liberty” law and “Freedom of Occupation” law. These efforts were so broad and malleable that the high court could act in virtually any way it desired. While the ruling government could theoretically be thrown out by voters, or undone by defecting parties, the courts were now empowered to dictate not only the law but policy.

Netanyahu is no authoritarian. But some of the proposed ideas are certainly more useful than others. The override clause in the reform bill, for example, empowers the Knesset to reinstate laws struck down by the Supreme Court with only 61 votes, or a simple majority. That means the Knesset, whether it is center-right or center-left, could ignore the courts, even when acting illiberally. Right now, the high court (perpetually on the left) is empowered to strike down any law it wants for any concocted reason it comes up with, whether it is protecting the tenets of liberal democracy or not. Neither setup is optimal in an ideologically diverse, multi-party state. 

Now, if you trusted the American media’s coverage of the protests in Israel, you might be under the impression that demonstrators fighting to preserve a court that is untethered from both the will of voters or any definitive set of legal standards were on the side of “democracy” while the elected officials proposing more majoritarianism were the authoritarians. One suspects that has a lot to do with the left’s distorted conception of “democracy.”

If the Israeli high court were run generationally by right-wingers, the Democrats would be hailing judicial reform as necessary. Instead, Joe Biden lectures Netanyahu about the need for any “fundamental changes” to “be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support.” 

Biden, remember, helped cram through a mammoth overhaul of the entire U.S. health-care system with Obamacare. He did it again when shoving through another $1.2 trillion leftist grab bag just last year. The same White House that says the Israeli government reform legislation “flies in the face of the whole idea of checks and balances” is behind a slew of executive orders circumventing the legislative branch. Many of the same people feigning concern about the checks and balances in Israel champion ridding the U.S. Senate of the legislative filibuster. And many of those wringing their hands over Israel’s judicial reform propose packing the Supreme Court and regularly delegitimize it.

Then again, contemporary Democrats often confuse their Calvinball power grabs with “democracy.” The truth is much more complicated. 

 

 

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