On Wednesday, Yariv Levin said that after the end of the Passover recess of the Knesset, he would continue his efforts to pass the judicial overhaul of the hard-right coalition.
The statement of the Justice Minister sparked concerns that claims of reaching a consensus on the legislation that has been paused were just used as a fig leaf.
The Justice Minister
Levin told a supporter in a WhatsApp message that he would make an effort to ensure the legislation passes in the coming summer session.
This vow seemed to be at odds with the commitment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to negotiate with the opposition, as the legislation was halted earlier this week amidst mass strikes and protests.
The justice minister said that they would have demonstrations across the country to show what most of the public wants.
On Monday, the premier had announced that they were suspending legislation, as opposition to the judicial overhaul reached new peaks after he fired the Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
The latter had called for a halt to the legislation process in order to hold talks on the matter. The premier said that they would hit pause until April 30th when the next Knesset session is scheduled to begin.
A top architect of the controversial plans of overhauling Israel’s judiciary, Levin also targeted Likud members like Gallant and others who had asked for a pause.
The justice minister said that they were hoping that those who had attempted to harm them from inside would stop doing so.
Leader of the opposition, Yair Lapid, responded to the statement and said that the premier should clarify that these views are not his own.
Lapid said that as per the justice minister’s statements, the negotiations taking place are a fraud. He was talking about the talks held at the President’s Residence on Tuesday.
Similarly, Avigdor Liberman, the chief of the Yisrael Beytenu party, said that Netanyahu and his allies were scamming them.
Levin criticized Lapid for spreading fake news, but continued to assert that the legislation would be passed in the next Knesset session.
He said that the legislation should be completed without dragging it out and hoped that there would be broad consensus and the dialogue would be a success.
While there has been a significant easing in tensions surrounding the judicial shakeup after the announcement on Monday, but it is still a ticking time bomb in the country and diplomatically too.
US President Joe Biden also spoke against the judicial overhaul for the first time on Tuesday and called on Netanyahu to change course.
The remarks were swiftly rejected by the Israeli premier, as he called them meddling in the affairs of the country.
While addressing the Summit for Democracy of the US State Department on Wednesday, Netanyahu dismissed the concerns surrounding the overhaul process.
Talks for reaching a broad consensus on the legislation began on Tuesday with President Isaac Herzog hosting the delegations representing the Likud party and the National Unity and Yesh Atid party in the opposition.