Netanyahu announces halt to judicial overhaul: ‘Time-out for dialogue’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Netanyahu announces halt to judicial overhaul: ‘Time-out for dialogue’

National Unity party leader Benny Gantz welcomed Netanyahu’s decision, saying: “Better late than never. No to civil war, no to divisions, yes to agreement and dialogue.”

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. April 7, 2021. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi-JINIPIX
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. April 7, 2021. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi-JINIPIX

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu finally announced a halt to the government’s judicial reforms on Monday evening, saying he will “take a time-out for dialogue”.

Netanyahu said he was pausing the judicial overhaul “out of national responsibility.”

“When there’s an option to avoid civil war through dialogue. One thing I am not willing to accept – there are a minority of extremists that are willing to tear our country to shreds…escorting us to civil war and calling for refusal of army service, which is a terrible crime,” he added.

National Unity party leader Benny Gantz welcomed Netanyahu’s decision, saying: “Better late than never. No to civil war, no to divisions, yes to agreement and dialogue.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid also welcomed the pause, saying: “If the legislation really does stop, genuinely and totally, we are ready to start genuine dialogue at the President’s Residence.”

President Herzog called Netanyahu’s decision “the right thing” to do. “This is the time to begin a sincere, serious, and responsible dialogue that will urgently calm the waters and lower the flames,” he said.

“I call on everyone to act responsibly. Protests and demonstrations, on whichever side – yes. Violence – absolutely not! If one side wins, the state will lose. We must remain one people and one state – Jewish and democratic,” he added.

Netanyahu’s decision came after Jewish Power party said it had agreed with the prime minister that a pause to the judicial reforms were acceptable.

In return, a national guard would be formed, falling under direct responsibility of Jewish Power party leader and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

But Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich expressed deep opposition to pause the reforms, attending a right-wing rally in Jerusalem aimed at showing support for the government’s plans.

Smotrich referred to the hundreds of thousands of protesters as “anarchist”, saying Netanyahu shouldn’t cave.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, among the most staunch supporters of the overhaul, had, accord to Israeli media, previously threatened to resign if the reforms were paused, but changed his stance on Monday, saying he would “respect any decision” by Netanyahu.

Monday saw tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets across Israel, while general mass strikes were announced at Ben-Gurion Airport, Universities, malls, and shops.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: