In a press conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday, opposition leaders declared their acceptance of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s judicial reform plan while condemning the coalition for rejecting it.
Leaders of Yesh Atid, National Unity, Yisrael Beiteinu, Labor and Ra’am attended the event, where they agreed to back the judicial compromise proposal that Herzog offered on Wednesday night.
“The plan that the president presented yesterday is not perfect. It is not what we wanted, but it is a fair compromise,” said opposition leader Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid Party.
“The government took 17 minutes yesterday to announce that it rejects the plan. They didn’t even bother to study it,” he added. “In their own way, they told the president that he, too, can go to hell.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the details of the judicial compromise Herzog proposed “were not agreed upon by the coalition and key clauses in his outline only perpetuate the current situation and do not bring the necessary balance between the branches. This is the unfortunate truth.”
Lapid said that the masks came off last night. “In the moment of truth, it became clear that the government has no interest in talks. Netanyahu is weak and has lost control of his government,” he said. Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Knesset Constitution Committee chairman Simcha Rothman “are the real rulers, and they don’t want compromise, and they don’t want democracy,” he added.
Street protests, which have included “days of disruption” and weekly Saturday-night protests, will go on, Lapid made clear.
“We will continue to fight until Israel has a constitution based on the Declaration of Independence,” he said. “We will never give up on our country nor on the people of Israel.”
National Unity Party chairman Benny Gantz directed his remarks to Netanyahu. “Show leadership. This is not the plan dreamed by any party. But the alternative is difficult and destructive,” he said.
“Everyone here is ready to have a conversation. Everyone here should say that they accept the president’s outline as a whole,” he continued. “Terrorism is rampant in our streets. Iran is racing toward a nuclear brink. We have to come together.”