An overwhelming majority of Israelis oppose central elements in the government’s judicial reform plan, according to a new poll conducted by Israel’s Democracy Institute.
Some 66% of Israelis think the High Court of Justice should have the power to strike down a law passed in parliament if it is incompatible with Israel’s quasi-constitutional Basic Laws.
Part of the government’s judicial reforms will change this, making it possible for a simple majority in parliament to pass any law without the High Court’s interference.
63% of Israelis think that the current balance in the makeup of the Judicial Selection Committee – where agreement is required between politicians and justices on judicial appointments – should be maintained.
Only 23% agree with the government’s idea that it should be able to appoint representatives to the committee, giving it a permanent majority in the selection of judges.
53% think a politicised judicial system would harm Israel’s economy, in line with numerous warnings by top economists in Israel.
56% worry that the reforms will make it harder for Israel to protect IDF soldiers accused of war crimes by foreign tribunals, while 60% worry it will impose restrictions on freedom of expression.
The survey was released as Knesset passed two bills in the reform plan hearings in Knesset on Monday, giving the government control over the appointment of High Court judges and allow parliament to override High Court rulings, passing any law it wants with a simple majority of 61 votes.
The bills are due for another two votings in Knesset before they are enacted.
A poll published last week by Jewish News revealed that 52% of British Jews said the far-right ministers in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government ‘impacts’ their view of Israel, while vast majority said Jews should criticise Israel if need arises.
The survey about the legal reforms, second week of February 2023, was carried out by the Viterbi Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute.
The survey was conducted online and by telephone (to fill in sectors that are not appropriately represented on the internet) on February 9–13, 2023. A total of 606 men and women were interviewed in Hebrew and 150 in Arabic—constituting a representative sample of the adult population of Israel aged 18 and over. Click here to read the full survey.
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