Protest Group States no Negotiation over Democratic Values3 min read
The judicial overhaul plan of the coalition has drawn a lot of criticism and protests and one of the prominent organizations protesting against it is the Movement for Quality Government (MOG).
On Thursday, the organization outlined a number of firm conditions for starting negotiations for a compromise with the government on the overhaul plans.
Ten conditions were put forward by Eliad Shraga, the head of the organization, which include adopting a constitution in accordance with the Declaration of Independence.
Other preconditions for reaching a compromise include passing a bill of rights aimed at ensuring quality in terms of obligations and rights.
He also added that they cannot start negotiations until the government stops the legislative process for the bills that are currently moving through the Knesset, aimed at overhauling the judiciary.
Yariv Levin, the Justice Minister, and MK Simcha Rothman, are the architects of the overhaul plans and they have stated that it is possible to change the legislation being pushed forward.
However, the two have refused to stop the legislative process, even though it is one of the opposition’s demands to begin negotiations.
Notable figures of the coalition, including the premier Benjamin Netanyahu, have accused the opposition of making political hay of the situation by refusing to negotiate while the legislation process is in motion.
In response, the grass-roots organizations that are carrying out the public demonstrations against the overhaul have continued to insist that dialogue can only begin when legislation is halted.
Standing outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, Shraga said that this struggle was the most important one in all of Israel’s history.
He added that there would be no negotiations regarding the supremacy or rule of law and that there would be no compromise on liberal and democratic values.
He also rejected the alternate proposals that have been circulating, claiming that they were also not in favor of democracy in Israel.
The ten conditions that were put forward by Shraga included developing a system of checks and balances and separation of powers and a judicial selection committee free from the control of politicians.
They also demanded independence of the legal advisers of the government and the attorney general and implementation of mechanisms for preventing someone convicted or on trial to serve in the government.
According to Shraga, the proposals drawn up by MOG and a draft constitution had been presented on Wednesday night to Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Shraga has been a legal activist for a long time and has put forward some major petitions to the High Court in the last few years.
This included the petition for the removal of Aryeh Deri, the Shas party leader, from his ministerial position.
The event of the protest group on Thursday also included Ayala Procaccia, the former Supreme Court justice, who also insisted that the legislative process had to stop for good-faith negotiations to begin.
Procaccia also asserted that both sides need to be open to negotiate and that they would not live in a country that is not human, fair and just.