Israeli Governing Coalition Again In Crisis Mode Over ‘Override Clause’
After hanging on by a thread less than two months ago due to a major disagreement over the enlistment of ultra-Orthodox Jews into the army, Israel’s governing coalition is again in crisis mode—this time over a bill that would give parliament the ability to override the striking down of laws by the High Court of Justice. The Jewish Home party on Tuesday issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that it would no longer vote with the coalition if the legislation is not advanced within ten days. At issue is the number of parliamentary votes that would be required to overturn a court ruling, with the Jewish Home seeking only a majority of 61; Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit pushing for 70; and Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut demanding at least 80 votes in favor. The matter of judicial power in Israel is a contentious one, which largely breaks down along ideological lines. The political right has long viewed the nation’s top court as left-leaning and activist in nature, which it claims has led to significant overreach and interference in government affairs, particularly relating to the conflict with the Palestinians and the role of religion in the public sphere. The matter was again recently thrust into the spotlight when the High Court suspended a plan to deport some 40,000 African migrants to third-party countries such as Rwanda and Uganda. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Hayut on Sunday in a bid to arrive at an acceptable compromise; otherwise, the coalition risks collapsing, in which case elections would be scheduled.