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Top officials in Netanyahu’s Likud party call to stop unilateral judicial reform legislation, report says

Likud's top management warns the party will suffer an electoral loss if it doesn't disengage from extreme coalition members

Minister of Defence Yoav Galant and MK Yuli Edelstein arrive for a meeting of the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on March 27, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Senior figures in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party issued a call to stop unilateral legislation of the judicial overhaul.

According to Israel's Ynet news, the senior Likud members are urging Netanyahu to only proceed with the controversial reform through dialogue and consensus.

This development comes after the Reasonableness Standard Bill passed the Knesset vote on Monday, with all 64 coalition members voting in favor and the opposition boycotting the vote altogether.

The Israeli news website quoted an unnamed senior Likud official as saying that Justice Minister Yariv Levin should not lead unilateral legislation, as he intends to do in the Knesset’s winter session, which begins after the summer recess.

“Netanyahu understands that, too,” said the official. “All of the prime minister’s allies understand today that the reform had caused tremendous damage.”

The report added that some Likud ministers and Knesset members stressed that their party should not only focus on judicial reform while neglecting other policy issues. They claimed that it would hurt the party in the next elections.

Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis, a Likud party member, said in a radio interview, “On the behest of the prime minister, I say that the proceeding of the legislation will be with the aspiration to achieve a broad consensus. For that, you need the other side.”

Members of Netanyahu’s party also called on him to “disengage from Ben Gvir and all extreme elements of the coalition that are only harming the Likud,” the report added.

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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