Translated by Areej Fatima Husseini
The zionist entity is experiencing an unprecedented internal crisis, which has prompted Israeli President Isaac Herzog to caution that it could lead to a civil war that would leave no trace of the “Israeli state.”
The first side of the conflict is the government coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu, which comprises the “Likud” party, religious groups from the “Haredi” movement, and so-called ultranationalist Jews. On the opposite side, there are opponents from predominantly secular (centrist and leftist) parties, as well as right-wing parties, who are at odds with Netanyahu.
Shortly after it was formed in January, the government submitted draft legislation aimed at overhauling the Israeli judicial system, to be followed by other projects, in preparation for amendments that were supposed to affect other state institutions. These draft amendments were met with significant opposition from Israel’s political community, including ex-officials, elites, and specialists, who were joined by the majority of the Hebrew media.
Therefore, those opponents staged protests in Tel Aviv and other areas in response to the government’s overhauls which they called a “coup against the system of government and democracy.”
With the date for approval of the overhaul in the “Knesset” approaching, the protests grew, as did the list of those who opposed them. They were joined by members of the “Knesset” from the “Likud,” led by the Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, who was later dismissed due to his opposition.
What exactly are these overhauls? Do they merit all of this opposition or all of that backing in return? Is it worth sparking political and social discord as well as threatening to demolish institutions such as the army?
The amendments seek to restrict the judiciary’s powers by preventing it from invalidating laws enacted by the “Knesset.” This appears against the backdrop of the Knesset’s opposition to fundamental laws or those with constitutional standing, or legal principles that the Supreme Court has used to reject certain bills, most of which depend on human rights and freedom of speech… and others.
In addition, the changes seek to alter the process of selecting and appointing judges, particularly Supreme Court judges. This happens by changing the structure of the appointment committee, with the governing coalition having the ultimate say in the decision. Opponents argue that such a committee would be affiliated with politicians, effectively ending the judicial system’s most important fortification, independence, and non-reliance on the political establishment.
But does this plan presage civil war?
The effort to introduce, as well as the attempt to avoid, the aforementioned amendments is a manifestation of the reality of a sharp split within Israel’s “community of societies,” so to speak. The Supreme Court plays a significant role in managing the divide by balancing the public interest and societal harmony as well as preventing any component from violating the rights of the other components or forcing its will on them.
According to the opponents of the overhaul, described by them as the “coup,” restricting the judiciary’s ability to consider laws and decisions issued by the government and the “Knesset” means introducing laws into political settlements as preconditions for the joining of this or that party to a coalition, even if this harms the so-called ‘state of Israel’.
It is worth noting here that the extremists’ agenda is very broad, and if it is translated into legislation in the “Knesset” without the chance of nullification, the identity of the Zionist entity will change.
For many secular Israelis, if talks to establish a government coalition are successful, the “Haredi” religious parties will be forced to demand the passage of Talmudic-style legislation. These parties deny the rights of the Israeli majority and compel them to do or not do things based on Talmudic law, something which cannot be applied without “violating human rights.”
Similarly, agendas of fascist parties, such as “religious Zionism”, rely on harming others just because they are “others”. Such parties view the involvement of the Israeli regime in conflicts and wars for territorial gains as a supreme value, resulting in wars for which ‘Israel’ itself pays the price, and to no avail.
The two samples referred to here are just part of what would transform ‘Israel’ into a different entity, not only by abolishing the so-called ‘democracy’ and allowing a group of Israelis to impose their will on others but also by exposing ethnic and social divisions and differences. This makes handling the divide and mitigating its consequences difficult.
Given this setting, it is easy to see how a shift in the court’s and judiciary’s powers could lead to a civil conflict. This is because Israel’s dilemma is insoluble. Even if a solution to the overhaul is found – in which the amendments would be paused or totally withdrawn, any solution will not fully fix things.
Thus, if prudence, based on concerns and the growth of opposition, can halt the legislation, the issue is likely to reoccur later, possibly with greater gravity.
In a society that defies itself internally in almost everything, Nazi and radical right-wing groups, as well as followers of Talmudic laws, are growing in power, status, and number. As a result, if the combat is not taking place right now, it is expected to take place shortly.
* Yahya Dbouk is a Lebanese journalist who writes for Al-Akhbar Newspaper. This article was published on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
Source: Al-Akhbar newspaper (translated by Al-Manar English Website)