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Netanyahu increasing pressure on justice minister to compromise over judicial overhaul

In recent days, Levin has shown interest in a new compromise proposal, calling it “a breakthrough”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Justice Minister Yariv Levin during a discussion and a vote in the Knesset assembly hall in Jerusalem, Feb. 20, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has increased the pressure on Justice Minister Yariv Levin to find a compromise for the administration’s planned judicial overhaul, according to unconfirmed reports Tuesday. 

In recent days, Netanyahu and Levin have reportedly met three times to discuss the issue.

Netanyahu warned his justice minister that the judicial-reforms legislation could lead to negative consequences for Israel’s economy, diplomacy, security and social cohesion, according to Israel’s Channel 12 news.

While Netanyahu did not go into specific details, he told Levin that the plan for a judicial overhaul must be softened. The prime minister is not allowed to be directly involved in any judicial overhaul due to a conflict-of-interest agreement.

In recent months, Netanyahu has publicly backed Levin’s plans. 

Levin said that, while he was open to changes in his plan for judicial reform, he would not stop the legislative process or agree to compromises on the core of the legislation, according to Channel 12 news. He sees the core of the issues as being the changes to the Knesset's Judicial Selection Committee, which would give the government-coalition majority control over appointments to Israel’s Supreme Court.

In recent days, Levin has reportedly shown interest in a new compromise proposal – the Friedmann proposal – calling it, “a breakthrough.”

The Friedmann proposal, which was submitted to Israeli President Isaac Herzog, is the result of joint cooperation between former Israeli Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann; jurist Professor Yuval Elbashan; Giora Yaron, a leading high-tech industry expert; and Giora Eiland, a retired general and former national security advisor to the government. 

Herzog has emerged as a unifying voice in Israel’s increasingly polarized society and a leading advocate for a compromise that will unite the country, which is torn over the issue of judicial reform and the Israel's democratic nature.

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

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