Israel’s President Herzog Presents Compromise on Judicial Reform
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog in a live national broadcast presented what he called the “people’s directive” for compromise on judicial reform. He said that the issue has brought Israel to the brink of a civil war.
“Those who think that a civil war is something that we could not reach, have no idea,” he said. “In my life, in the worst nightmares, I never thought I would hear such words, even if it is from a very small minority of people. I heard startling rhetoric. I heard real, deep hatred. I heard people — from all the parties that the idea of blood in the streets no longer shocks them.”
Under the compromise, the quasi-constitutional Basic Laws will have four readings in the Knesset, with the fourth reading requiring a majority of 80 votes to pass, and the Supreme Court will not be involved in the creation or amendment of Basic Laws. The Judicial Selection Committee that appoints judges to the Supreme Court would consist of four members of the coalition, two members of the opposition, three judges and two representatives of the public appointed by the justice minister with the approval of the Supreme Court president, and seven of the 11 committee members must vote for a judge in order to appoint them. Other parts of the compromise include requiring a two-thirds majority in Knesset to repeal existing laws, and the drawing up of an agreement for an amended military recruitment law.
“We are in the midst of a deep and worrying crisis. But I really believe with all my heart that today we also face a major, historic opportunity,” he also said.
Herzog’s presentation of the compromise was made without the agreement of the coalition, following negotiations between the Herzog’s representatives and the coalition earlier in the day.