The Israeli parliament has passed a controversial law on the judiciary

The Knesset (Israel’s parliament) on Monday voted in favor of a controversial law reforming the judicial system, sparking protests across the country.

Last-minute talks to reach a compromise did not stop Israel’s far-right government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, from speeding up the vote.

“Despite popular discontent following failed compromise negotiations, the Knesset approved the amendment,” reports The Times of Israel.

The bill, which is part of a broader effort to “restore the judiciary,” prevents the Supreme Court from overturning a government decision.

64 deputies voted in favour. In a sign of protest, opposition MPs boycotted the vote and left the chamber chanting “shame”.

A controversial reform. Netanyahu under fire

Critics of the Netanyahu administration’s moves argue that the new rules remove a key element of the court’s oversight powers, opening the door to abuse. Opponents of the prime minister accuse him that the changes are actually intended to save him from jail – Netanyahu has four corruption cases.

Ofer Kassif, an opposition member of the Knesset, described the current Israeli government as “fascist”.

After the vote, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the reform’s architect, said parliament had taken “the first step in an important historic process” to rebuild the judiciary.

Protests in Israel

Previously, protesters, many of whom believe the changes in the legal system are undermining the foundations of democracy in their country, blocked their way to parliament and closed major chain stores and some petrol stations in protest.

At the same time, thousands of reservists have declared their refusal to serve in the military under the current coalition, whose actions they say are driving the country down the path of dictatorship. These steps have raised concerns that military preparedness could be compromised.

The vote on the controversial bill came just hours after Netanyahu was released from the hospital where he had a pacemaker implanted.

Source: Do Rzeczy