fbpx

Why Do I Care More About Israeli Unity Than Bibi?

Regardless of which side of the political fence you’re on, all lovers of Israel must be on the side of stopping this looming disaster and putting Israeli unity first.
[additional-authors]
July 9, 2023
Protests in Tel AvivPhoto by Amir Levy/Getty Images

As Israel approaches a civic meltdown over the coalition’s plan to ram through a one-sided judicial revolution, I’m asking myself: Why do I care more about Israeli unity than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

It’s not as if Bibi is not seeing what we’re seeing, with his own President Isaac Herzog calling the current situation a “shocking and dangerous reality” and a “blunder of historic proportions” where families and friends are being “torn apart.”

It’s not as if Bibi isn’t seeing the hundreds of thousands of his fellow Israelis protesting across the country for 27 weeks with fire in their veins and anguish in their hearts.

It’s not as if Bibi doesn’t know that if a crucial vote goes through on Monday, the turmoil in his country will rise to even more dangerous levels.

And it’s not as if Bibi doesn’t know that the protestors have a point.

Unlike his extremist partners, Bibi has shown that he understands the value of an independent Court. In 2012, before he got embroiled in a criminal trial, he himself said:

“I believe that a strong, independent court allows for the existence of all other institutions in a democracy. In places with no strong and independent court system, rights cannot be protected.”

And yet, Bibi is allowing the weakening of the court system to proceed. It’s important to note that the judicial overhaul is not one of those typical parliamentary initiatives that addresses things like the economy, housing or health care. No, this legislation is about legislation. It is legislation that aims to ensure that future legislation, however extreme, will be virtually immune from checks and balances.

No wonder the coalition is proceeding with such cold-blooded efficiency. They’re hypnotized by that power, even at the price of a civic breakdown in their own country.

No one disputes that reasonable reforms are needed. But there’s nothing reasonable about this overhaul. Even the architect himself, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, recognized its extreme nature.

No one disputes that reasonable reforms are needed. But there’s nothing reasonable about this overhaul. Even the architect himself, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, recognized its extreme nature. As Times of Israel reported in April, Levin “conceded that a key piece of his legislation would have led to a situation unacceptable in a democratic country, in which the coalition would exercise control over all three branches of government.”

This intent to exercise control is still very much alive. On Monday, the coalition is set to push the first of three votes on a highly contentious bill that would scrap the use of the “reasonableness” test by the judiciary to review decisions made by elected officials.

There are still five people who can stop this nightmare: Five coalition MK’s with the courage to put their country first and announce that they will not vote for this divisive, one-sided judicial revolution until there is a broader consensus.

It doesn’t seem to matter that President Herzog has called for negotiations to resume, or that he believes that a compromise is within reach. Right now, this coalition smells its prey; it is in no mood to blink.

But as crazy as it sounds, if all else fails there are still five people who can stop this nightmare: Five coalition MK’s with the courage to put their country first and announce that they will not vote for this divisive, one-sided judicial revolution until there is a broader consensus. Without those five votes, Bibi loses his 64-seat majority.

Regardless of which side of the political fence you’re on, all lovers of Israel must be on the side of stopping this looming disaster and putting Israeli unity first. If we make enough noise, maybe those five MK’s will hear us, even if Bibi doesn’t.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Are We Going to Stop for Lunch?

So far, the American Jewish community has been exceptional in its support for Israel. But there is a long road ahead, and the question remains: will we continue with this support?

EXCLUSIVE: Inside Hollywood’s “Meeting of the Masters” Brunch

Guy Shalem’s Meeting of the Masters is more than just a dinner club; it’s a testament to the power of food, conversation, and community in bringing people together and creating a space where everyone, regardless of background or belief, can find common ground and friendship.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.