(April 2, 2020 / JNS) Israel entered a sad political chapter over the past month. Following the country’s March 2 national election—its third in under 12 months—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and its right-wing bloc captured 59 seats out of the Israeli parliament’s 120. Rival Blue and White and the left-wing bloc captured 61.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who has the obligation to decide who should be given the first chance to try to form a government following an election, chose Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who heads Blue and White.
However, Blue and White’s ostensible majority coalition included the Joint Arab List’s 15 seats. The Joint List representatives reject a) Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and b) Israel’s Basic Laws—which are the equivalent of America’s Constitution. By giving the go-ahead to this coalition, Rivlin neglected his own responsibility to be loyal to the Basic Laws.
Blue and White then immediately moved to illegitimately take over key Knesset committees before a new government could be officially formed, with the goal of advancing legislation to oust Netanyahu and prevent him from forming a government. Israel’s left-leaning Supreme Court joined the coup, ordering Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to call a vote to appoint a new speaker.
In response, Edelstein rightly resigned.
So how will this attempted coup run its course? Fortunately, it seems as though sanity may prevail. A unity government is in the process of formation, though serious challenges remain. Hopefully, the trumped-up charges against Netanyahu will be dropped.
So what have we learned from all this? In the future:
1) Israel’s Attorney General and Supreme Court justices should be directly appointed by the prime minister, subject to approval by the Knesset Judiciary Committee.
2) Israel’s Supreme Court must be stripped of its power to nominate justices. Israel’s elected political forces must regain control of the out-of-control judiciary. The Israeli judiciary must be prevented from participating in any future coup attempts.
Ken Abramowitz is the president and founder of SaveTheWest.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.