Justice reform in Israel: Faced with the street, Netanyahu faces a crucial choice
Protesters carrying the Israeli flag march in front of Benjamin Netanyahu's portrait, in Tel Aviv, March 25, 2023. AP - Oded Balilty
Text by: RFI Follow
A new milestone has been reached in Israel. The protest against the reform of Justice hardens this Monday, March 27. A general strike was declared at the call of the main trade union centre. The country is on the verge of "collapse," says the opposition leader. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains silent.
With our correspondent in Jerusalem, Sami Boukhelifa
Will Benjamin Netanyahu suspend this controversial justice reform or not? According to its critics, it aims to weaken justice. Negotiations are underway between the Prime Minister and the various party leaders on which his coalition is based.
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The time of choice has therefore come for Benjamin Netanyahu. He must make his decision and quickly. His first option would be to suspend his justice reform. According to Israeli media, his government of right-wing, far-right and religious parties, after tough negotiations, is now willing to follow him.
But not everyone is united behind him. One minister rebels: the controversial and provocative Itamar Ben Gvir, from the extreme right. Benjamin Netanyahu can override his support, but it could bring down his government. He must therefore find a compromise.
Does Benjamin Netanyahu have the means to continue his reform?
The second option: Benjamin Netanyahu stays straight in his boots and continues his judicial reform project. But does he have the means? The street is in turmoil, after twelve weeks of protest. The country is now plunged into one of the worst crises in its history.
All flights departing from Ben Gurion Airport are cancelled, ports are also closing. There are no schools, no universities. It is an unlimited strike. Hospitals are in reduced service and shopping malls are pulling down the curtain. Employees in high-tech, a key sector in Israel, are on strike. Time is running out.
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- Benjamin Netanyahu