Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest serving in office with 15 years in which he led the government through 6 alliances since the 1990s, is living his worst days since returning to office last year, amid tens of thousands of demonstrators continuing for 12 weeks against a plan that includes amendments that limit the powers of the Supreme Court (the highest authority). judicial) and gives the government the power to appoint judges.
Angry protests continue in Israel despite Netanyahu’s decision to temporarily freeze his controversial plan, which aims to reduce the powers of the Supreme Court, as thousands of demonstrators continued to be present in the streets of Tel Aviv and other cities, affirming their continued rejection of the judicial amendments until they are completely abolished and not only temporarily frozen, according to Al Jazeera Net.
Monday night, Netanyahu said in a televised address "I decided to suspend the Knesset’s vote on legislation reforming the judiciary, to reach a broad agreement out of national responsibility and the desire to prevent the division of the nation"As he put it, he ridiculed his opponents as an extremist minority working on "Stirring up a civil war".
Reuters considers that what such a speech (by Netanyahu) illustrates not only the great dangers he faces in his hopes of extending his power, but also the problems that Israel faces in the midst of a new security crisis in the West Bank and an alliance that has raised anxiety among old allies after He came to power in the fifth general election in less than 4 years.
Netanyahu’s acquiescence under the weight of the protests does not mean that he will escape the expected downfall. The 73-year-old is still caught between his far-right allies, whose support he needs to stay in office, and a strong wave of opposition to their plans.
Reuters believes that there is no indication that either side is willing to back down when Parliament meets "The Knesset" again next month, or the leader of the Likud party will be able to reach a compromise that will keep him in power without exacerbating divisions within Israeli society.
And the leader of the Israeli opposition, Yair Lapid, declared his readiness for dialogue according to a specific direction, warning that if "Netanyahu tried to deceive" He will find himself again in front of hundreds of thousands of demonstrators.
For his part, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Herzi Halevi, believes, according to statements published by the Military Media Office, that this stage is different from any stage that Israel has witnessed before, adding that Israel has not witnessed a series of such days. "Full of external threats at a time when a storm is forming inside".
The head of the Knesset Security Committee called for the defense minister to be reinstated after Netanyahu dismissed him in response to his demand to abandon the judicial reform plan. The head of the Knesset Security Committee considered that "This is not the time for changes in the Ministry of Defense".
The United States welcomed Netanyahu’s announcement to suspend judicial amendment legislation. White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre stated that postponing these amendments would provide an opportunity to reach a settlement that would take Israel out of the crisis, adding, according to Al-Jazeera Net, that allegations of Washington funding the protests "Void and baseless".
Anshel Pfeffer, author of the unofficial biography of the Israeli prime minister, says: "Netanyahu is trapped…he is facing a level of opposition and protest he never imagined"according to Reuters.
Opinion polls show that his coalition will lose any new elections, and Netanyahu can at the same time count on a little goodwill from old enemies and his former allies who still have a lump in their throats from previous confrontations.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid, a former partner in Netanyahu’s coalition, said of the delay in considering the amendments yesterday "We have a bad experience from the past so we will first make sure there are no games or scams here".
- Limited options
The security-hard-line Netanyahu, who has shown little interest in the decades-old vision of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, has few options for getting out of the current impasse. The way to address the instinctive concerns of his electoral base in towns and settlements far from Tel Aviv is seen by analysts as unviable right now.
Anshel Pfeffer, an unofficial Netanyahu biographer, says he must choose between trying to buy more time to make stubborn coalition partners back down, defeating the opposition with a parliamentary majority or persuading some of its wary leaders to replace his partners in a new government.
Complicating matters further, Netanyahu himself is facing corruption charges for allegedly receiving illegal gifts and regulatory favors in return for positive news coverage.
Netanyahu describes the lawsuits against him as politically motivated, denies any wrongdoing, and says his judicial amendments are not related to the lawsuits.
And unlike his previous alliances, Netanyahu is no longer able to bring together the left and right factions. Indeed, the man who was considered a thorn in the side of liberal opinion for more than two decades now stands on the left wing of his government.
Among his coalition partners are far-right supporters of Jewish settlers who have upset Israel’s foreign allies with unacceptable statements about the Palestinians. In an attempt to court them, Netanyahu has given them top cabinet positions in charge of finance and security, and promised to create a National Guard unit that critics fear could turn into a right-wing militia.
For his part, Yohanan Plesner, head of the Israeli Democracy Institute, believes that Netanyahu’s move to suspend the judicial amendments cannot be considered an expression of a desire for reconciliation, but "Maybe it’s a cease-fire in order to remobilize, organize … and move forward"according to Agence France-Presse.
And wrote the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth "He (Netanyahu) knew how to turn a crushing defeat into a draw with beautiful words". Nahum Barnea said "Israeli society is boiling and what (Netanyahu) is proposing is nothing but a measure".
According to the Jewish Power Party, which is led by the far-right Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir, the decision to suspend the talks "repairs" Judicial agreement implies the extension of the powers of the minister.
Yossi Werter, a political correspondent for the left-wing Haaretz daily, wrote that Netanyahu’s decision represents "A victory for the demonstrators, but the person who crushed and trampled on Netanyahu was Itamar Ben Gvir".
The French news agency indicates a decline in the Israeli public’s confidence in the government that was sworn in last December only, as an opinion poll conducted by the Israeli Channel 12 showed that the right-wing Likud party led by Netanyahu fell by 7 points, expecting that the government would lose the majority in the 120-seat parliament in the event I had an election.
Is Israel witnessing a civil war?
Since the outbreak of demonstrations against Netanyahu a few weeks ago, the term has been occupied "Civil war" A prominent part of the statements inside or outside Israel, all the way to the White House, which said yesterday that US President Joe Biden "He is not afraid of things developing in Israel into a civil war"And between warnings of its outbreak and expectations that it will not happen, everyone is waiting for what the coming days will hold.
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