“Don’t fear the Left!” That was the message delivered by Justice Minister Yariv Levin to Benjamin Netanyahu at a recent Likud party meeting. According to Israeli media, Levin made a pointed speech to his party leader at that session, imploring the prime minister to pass judicial reform urgently and at all costs. Levin gave a number of reasons for this. It’s becoming clear to many that Netanyahu himself might be the biggest obstacle to judicial reform.
“Mr. Prime Minister, a post-Zionist minority is trying to impose its values through the judicial system,” the justice minister warned. “Change will only come through deep and fundamental reform if the Supreme Court is led by someone who represents true values of equality.”
In recent months, Levin has repeatedly threatened to resign if Netanyahu halts judicial reform. As we have previously reported, this is not an easy decision for Netanyahu. Levin’s resignation could lead to the collapse of the coalition. But if Netanyahu fully implements the reform, as Levin wishes, then Israel could descend into civil war. The decision rests solely with Netanyahu, and most ministers close to the prime minister confirm this.
“We will not sit here in government forever,” Levin added. “This government has a unique and historic opportunity to finally make these changes. We mustn’t miss it. If we are not determined now to make both corrections in the legal system and enshrine them in law, then they will never be able to be changed.”
At the same time, numerous Likud members and ministers have admitted in confidential talks that they do not believe Netanyahu is really interested in pushing ahead with judicial reform. And that despite the fact that Netanyahu made it clear in the parliamentary group meeting: “Judicial reform is not dead.”
A senior Likud minister told the Israeli daily Maariv: “We gave up everything, including one of two representatives on the judge selection committee. After all the big promises, the only thing left for the Likud in the selection committee was the right of veto, which wasn’t worth all the political hassle. The Likud will raise its hand in all areas related to the selection of judges and its chance of influencing the selection of judges in the lower courts is close to zero.”
The governing coalition understands that it has a unique opportunity to push through judicial reform, now or never. The question is whether or not Netanyahu will go for it.
Israel Today Membership
Save 18% Per Month.
Six Months Membership
Save 9% Per Month.