In a statement to the nation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will get deeply involved in the judicial overhaul despite a conflict of interest agreement that bars him from involvement. While promising to take the opposition’s concerns into account, he also vows to press ahead with the legislation to choose judges — saying it will pass in its present form in the Knesset next week.
Netanyahu’s speech comes a day after the Knesset passes a law that explicitly blocks the top court from ordering a prime minister to take a leave of absence — a law that is widely seen as a protection against fears that the High Court of Justice could force Netanyahu to step down, due to the potential conflict of interest created by him overseeing his coalition’s bid to dramatically overhaul the judiciary while he is himself on trial for multiple corruption charges.
“Until now, my hands were bound, now I am getting involved,” Netanyahu says.
The prime minister says he is attentive to the concerns of his opponents, but vowes to press ahead with legislation to give the coalition control of appointing judges will be passed as planned next week, which is seen as the core of the overhaul.
Netanyahu also promises to anchor civil rights in law.