Report: Netanyahu Mulling Pause on Judicial Reform, Levin Wants to Push Forward

By Hamodia Staff

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, flanked by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, chairs the weekly Cabinet meeting, March 5. (Gil Cohen-Magen/Pool via REUTERS)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering a pause in the coalition’s judicial overhaul plans, after a day of unrest following the ousting of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, according to Arutz Sheva. Justice Minister Yariv Levin said he wants to proceed.

Gallant had broken ranks with the rest of the government, and made an address urging the government to suspend the reforms until a compromise can be made with the opposition. He made this speech while Netanyahu was visiting the U.K. Netanyahu then dismissed Gallant on Sunday, saying that he has lost confidence in the now former minister.

Protestors took to the streets in Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv, and breached security forces surrounding Netanyahu’s private residence. Israeli universities announced that they were suspending classes indefinitely, and an ambassador to New York resigned in the wake of the news of Gallant’s dismissal.

Netanyahu’s staunchest supporters, including Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, and members of his Otzma Yehudit faction were quick to defend the move, while Netanyahu’s opponents seized on the opportunity to lambast the prime minister.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin Sunday night expressed his opposition to stopping the legal reform during the discussions with Netanyahu.

Shas and United Torah Judaism are reportedly supportive of continuing the reforms. Addressing rumors that UTJ had sided with those in favor of a pause, the parties made a statement, saying “the news that was published is not true. Our announcements remain the same. We support the Prime Minister and his decisions.”

Yaakov Bardugo, an associate of Netanyahu, called for a recalibration. “The state is above all. It doesn’t matter now who is right and who is wrong, it is right to recalculate a course.”

Previously, Arutz Sheva reported that unnamed senior officials in the coalition said “it is more than likely that the reform will be rejected.”

Culture Minister Miki Zohar expressed her support for a potential decision by Netanyahu to give in to demands for a pause. “The reform of the judicial system is necessary and vital, but when the house is on fire, you don’t ask who is right, rather you pour water on it and save its occupants. If the Prime Minister decides to stop the legislation to prevent the rift that has been created in the nation, we must support his position.”

Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat supported the pause. “I will support the Prime Minister in the decision to stop and recalculate the course. The reform is necessary and we will do it – but not at the cost of civil war.”

Deputy Head of the Shomron Council Davidi Ben Zion also called for a halt to the legislation, “The situation is very worrying. We are just before a dangerous point of no return.”

MK Simcha Rotman of Religious Zionism, who heads the Constitution Committee, tasked with legislating the reforms, announced that the committee will convene Monday morning to vote for the second and third reading on the text of the final law changing the composition of the Committee for the Selection of Judges.

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