Likud MK in Favor of Pausing Judicial Overhaul3 min read
On Saturday, a lawmaker for the Likud party called for the government to hit pause on its campaign of passing the controversial proposals aimed at reforming the judiciary in Israel.
He said that the opposition should be given an opportunity to talk, so the plan can be softened in order to move forward. He also added that other MKs in the coalition were also in favor of hitting pause.
A close-confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at one time and a former speaker of the Knesset, veteran Edelstein refused to back the reforms in their current form.
On Saturday night, the lawmaker said that they had a chance for putting a stop to the legislative process for a short time period.
He added that they could make a ‘joint’ draft, but only if they act like adults and stop acting like kids in kindergarten.
Before these comments, Edelstein had said that the judicial overhaul proposals should be negotiated based on the suggestions put forward by President Isaac Herzog.
The Likud MK also added that temporarily hitting pause on the legislation would also fulfill a demand of the opposition about suspending the judicial overhaul process for about 60 days at least.
The lawmaker said that after meeting the opposition, if the government believes that they are opposing all changes and just playing for time, then they can resume the legislation process.
He said that if this was not the case, then they can negotiate and agree on changes to the judicial system that can stand up.
There was a time when Edelstein was a rising star in the Likud party, but he has been sidelined by the premier since he outlined his plans of challenging Netanyahu as the leader of the party.
He shelved the plans later. Similar to other conservatives, Edelstein has asserted that he wants the judicial system to change, but wants these alterations to come by consensus instead of force.
He was also asked if he would support the overhaul if there is no dialogue with the opposition, but he did not give an answer, saying that he did not wish to give an ultimatum.
The controversial proposals have garnered a lot of opposition and resulted in rallies and demonstrations every week in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and numerous other cities.
This Saturday also saw more than 160,000 people come together in Tel Aviv to rally against the proposals and tens of thousands others in other cities as well.
Even though publicly the coalition has backed the judicial overhaul proposals, there are some who have also shared their misgivings in light of the backlash and the radical changes that are planned.
Edelstein asserted that other members of the Knesset are also in favor of halting the process for negotiating a compromise.
Another Likud MK, David Bitan, said on Saturday that the party would have to soften the proposals itself in case there are no compromise talks.
The former coalition whip also asserted that the government could collapse before the next elections because of the power struggles taking place.