The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahuhas dismissed this Sunday his Defense Minister, Yoav Galant, after he asked a day before to suspend the processing of the controversial judicial reform, which aims to give the Government more power to appoint judges. The legislative modification that the Executive is studying has provoked a wave of protests throughout the country, which this past Saturday experienced a new day of demonstrations with more than half a million attendees.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to dismiss Defense Minister Yoav Galant,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. In a speech late Saturday, Galant, who belongs to the same party as Netanyahu, the conservative Likud, said he fears the split over reform creates a “real threat to Israel’s security.” “The deepening division is seeping into the military institutions and defense; this is a clear, immediate and real danger to Israel’s security. […] I am saying it loudly and publicly, for the sake of the State of Israel and our children, we must stop this legislative process,” Gallant said during a televised speech.
The statements by the former Defense Minister were quickly supported by two other Likud parliamentarians, the party headed by Netanyahu, and rejected by other members of the Executive, including the Minister of National Security, the far-right Itamar I’m Gvir. The Government intends to approve this latest law this week, something that has motivated the organizers of the demonstrations to intensify the protests.
The dismissal of the minister was also rejected by the former prime minister and current leader of the opposition, Yair Lapid, who said that this measure “harms national security.” “Netanyahu can stop Gallant, but he can’t stop the reality and the people of Israel facing the follies of this coalition,” Lapid wrote via his Twitter account.
The Minister of Agriculture, Avi poet, seems the favorite to succeed Gallant. Dichter was director of the secret service for the interior of Israel and the Palestinian territories, the Shin Bet. However, Dichter has also raised his doubts about the risks to the cohesion and security of the country that going ahead with the judicial reform process entails. He could also occupy the post of Economy Minister, Nir Barkat.
Since Netanyahu’s government, one of the most conservative in Israel’s history, presented a legal reform bill in January, the country has been divided and there are demonstrations against it every week. The reform seeks to increase the power of elected officials to the detriment of the Power of attorney and, according to its critics, endangers the democratic character of the State of Israel.
Despite criticism from countless quarters and warnings of its impact not only on the separation of powers but also on Israel’s economy, the government continues to push forward with some of the pillars of the reform, including a law that would grant control of de facto to the Government on the selection committee of judges.
The reform has aroused criticism inside and outside the country. Israel’s main ally, the United States, has expressed “concern” over the reform. Netanyahu, who until now has kept a low profile on this issue, announced on Thursday that he would push reform forward, but that he would do everything possible to “reach a solution” acceptable to both supporters and critics of the reform. project.