PanamaTimes

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

Israel PM Fires Defence Minister Over Call To Stop Judicial Reforms

Israel PM Fires Defence Minister Over Call To Stop Judicial Reforms

On a day when 200,000 people took to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest the reforms, Mr Galant -- who had been a staunch Benjamin Netanyahu ally -- on Saturday said "we must stop the legislative process" for a month in view of its divisiveness.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday fired Defence Minister Yoav Galant a day after he broke ranks, citing security concerns in calling for a pause to the government's controversial judicial reforms.

On a day when 200,000 people took to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest the reforms, Galant -- who had been a staunch Netanyahu ally -- on Saturday said "we must stop the legislative process" for a month in view of its divisiveness.

The plans to hand more control to politicians and diminish the role of the Supreme Court have been questioned by Israel's top allies including the United States, while regularly igniting protests in Israel.

"The growing social rift has made its way into the (army) and security agencies," said Galant, who is a member of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party. "It is a clear, immediate and tangible threat to Israel's security.

"I am committed to Likud values... and placing the State of Israel above all... but major changes on the national level must be made through deliberations and dialogue," he added, also calling for a halt to the protests.

Detractors say the reform project threatens Israel's democracy, but the government argues changes are needed to rebalance powers between lawmakers and the judiciary.

Netanyahu on Sunday decided to "dismiss Defence Minister Yoav Galant", the prime minister's office said in a brief statement.

In response to the decision, Galant countered on Twitter: "The security of the State of Israel has always been and will always remain the mission of my life."

Slim majority

Galant's call for a halt to the reforms came as lawmakers are due to vote this coming week on a central part of the proposals, which would change the way judges are appointed.

Two other Likud lawmakers had tweeted their support for Galant, raising questions over whether the government could count on a majority if it pushes ahead with a vote.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid responded on Twitter to Galant's dismissal by saying the prime minister could fire Galant, "but he cannot fire reality and cannot fire the people of Israel who are standing up to the insanity of the coalition.

"The Prime Minister of Israel is a danger to the security of the State of Israel," Lapid added.

Adding to the political uncertainty, Israel's consul general in New York, Asaf Zamir, tendered his resignation Sunday, saying Netanyahu's "dangerous decision" to sack the defense minister convinced him he could "no longer continue representing the government."

"Following today's developments, it is now time for me to join the fight for Israel's future to ensure it remains a beacon of democracy and freedom in the world," Zamir said in a tweet posting his resignation letter.

Galant, a former general, was named to his post in December as part of Netanyahu's coalition with far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies.

He is the first casualty, but other high-level officials have also expressed reservations.

Earlier this month, President Isaac Herzog, who holds a largely ceremonial role, voiced concern over the deepening rift in society and presented a proposed compromise, which the government rejected.

Herzog raised the spectre of "a genuine civil war".

'Illegal' intervention

Israel's attorney general on Friday accused Netanyahu of "illegal" public intervention on the reform programme, after he made a nationwide TV address the previous evening.

Netanyahu is on trial over charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, which he denies.

In an open letter published by the justice ministry, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara said the prime minister's televised declaration "and all interventions on your part on the process" of adopting the judicial reforms "is illegal".

In his televised address, the prime minister vowed to "responsibly advance" the reforms and "end the rift" they have caused in the nation.

A parliamentary committee amended the draft law to make it more acceptable to opponents, but the opposition has ruled out backing any part of the reform package until all legislative steps are halted.

Demonstrators have announced a "national paralysis week", including countrywide rallies, protests outside ministers' homes and on Wednesday outside parliament.

In fresh Sunday protests in Tel Aviv, protesters burned tyres, police said. An AFP correspondent noted that Israelis there had taken to the streets, with some setting fires and others blocking the main motorway cutting through the coastal city.

In Jerusalem, protesters gathered outside the prime minister's residence, while other demonstrations took place in the northern city of Haifa, and Beer Sheva in the south, local media reported.

Netanyahu's broadcast gave rise to contempt of court accusations filed with the Supreme Court by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, a non-governmental, anti-corruption group.

The NGO's complaint alleges Netanyahu violated an agreement with the court that an accused prime minister does not have the right to act in a matter that could constitute a conflict of interest.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
Former Bolivian President Evo Morales Denied Eligibility for 2025 Re-Election
Venezuela's Maduro Condemns 'Provocation' as UK Sends Warship to Guyana Venezuela's President Maduro has condemned the UK's deployment of the warship HMS Trent to Guyana as a hostile act amid ongoing border tensions
×