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Herzog renews judicial reform talks, ‘chance to reach agreements’

Leadership is needed now, says Israel's president during visit to Austria

Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks during a ceremony in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, July 17, 2023. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Negotiations about a compromise regarding the government’s judicial reform have been renewed but no agreement has been reached, Israel's President Isaac Herzog’s office confirmed on Monday morning.

Israel's Kan news outlet reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to cancel a proposed law to amend the Judicial Selection Committee and to weaken the already-established Reasonableness Law as part of a compromise agreement.

The report added that negotiations were held with the National Unity party, led by chairman Benny Gantz, via mediation by the president, and that Netanyahu was soon expected to publish the details of his compromise offer, despite no agreement having been reached yet.

On Monday, Gantz said, “I’m willing to compromise nothing. [But] I’m willing to come to an agreement on many issues,” during an event hosted by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in Jerusalem.

The Likud party denied the terms of the reported offer on Monday evening.

Herzog has been “making a special effort in order to prevent a constitutional crisis, and to bring about a solution that will preserve democracy and unity among the Israeli people,” the president's office stated.

He commented on the negotiations during a visit to Austria on Monday.

“There are moments in crises of this type when leadership is required to take advantage of the rare opportunity to reach out and reach agreements - this is one of those moments,” he said.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, for his part, outright rejected the reported compromise, saying, “It does not change the basic thing that requires change. The judicial system is closed and locked to many sectors of society."

"Agreements can be reached, but the opposition refuses to sit down and talk,” Levin said in an interview with Radio Kol BaRama.

Herzog hosted negotiations between the coalition and opposition that went on for months but came to an indefinite end in June following an argument over the details of the Judicial Selection Committee.

Netanyahu is reportedly seeking to make quick progress to reach an agreement before he departs for Washington later this month and before the upcoming High Court hearings on the Reasonableness Law and Justice Minister Levin’s refusal to convene the Judicial Selection Committee, according to the Times of Israel.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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