After criticism of judicial reform – Netanyahu fires Defense Minister Galant – angry protests – News
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly fired Joav Galant.
- This was announced by a spokesman for Netanyahu’s right-wing conservative Likud party.
- With his call to pause the controversial judicial reform, the defense minister met with a mixed response.
- US urges Israel to find a compromise.
There have been protests for months against the reform, which is intended to curtail the influence of the Supreme Court. The plans of the right-wing religious government have also triggered considerable criticism internationally.
SRF correspondents Anita Bünter and Jonas Bischoff assess:
“On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a partially conciliatory tone. He said he wanted to approach the opponents of the judicial reform and calm the situation down. Only around 72 hours later he has now thrown his defense minister Yoav Galant out of office. He lost confidence in Galant after he publicly criticized the judicial reform. Above all, Galant drew attention to the fact that the increasing protests by members of the army and reservists could become a security problem for Israel.
Critics have long accused Netanyahu of pursuing personal goals in the reform of the judiciary: he wants to use it to choke off the corruption proceedings against him. Today’s decision by Netanyahu shows two things: He will not tolerate any contradiction in his far-right coalition. And: Netanyahu wants to push through his judicial reform at any price. For this he is willing not only to depose a member of his own party as minister, but also to ignore security warnings.
The previous defense minister surprisingly called on his own government to stop the reform and to engage in dialogue with critics on Saturday evening. Galant warned that otherwise national security could be severely damaged. He pointed out that numerous reservists did not show up for duty in protest against the reform.
Voting is imminent
Netanyahu’s coalition wants to implement core elements of the reform in the next few days. The vote on a law that should give government politicians more influence in the appointment of judges could take place as early as this Monday.
It is still unclear how critics within the government will vote. The coalition only has a majority of four seats in parliament. The government accuses the Supreme Court of excessive interference in political decisions. In the future, Parliament should be able to overrule decisions of the Supreme Court with a simple majority. Critics see the separation of powers in danger and warn of a state crisis.
Anger and protests in response to dismissal
Angry protests broke out in the evening after Galant was fired. According to television reports, tens of thousands spontaneously gathered in the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision. They blocked the central road to Jerusalem.
There, demonstrators broke through a roadblock next to Netanyahu’s apartment building. Neighbors waved blue and white national flags. However, it was unclear whether the 73-year-old was in the house.
USA push for compromise
In view of the widespread protests in Israel against the course of the right-wing religious coalition, the US government has called for a compromise. The White House wrote that the United States was deeply concerned, as this announced.
Democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of US-Israel relations. Far-reaching changes in the system would have to be approved by the population.