ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Netanyahu ready to back off overhaul but stymied by Levin — report

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (seated) with Justice Minister Yariv Levin in the Knesset in Jerusalem, on February 22, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (seated) with Justice Minister Yariv Levin in the Knesset in Jerusalem, on February 22, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A report by Channel 12 political analysts claims that turmoil is growing within the governing coalition against plans to radically reshape the judiciary, with even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backing a compromise, but cowed by less flexible partners.

Netanyahu is open to halting the process and compromising, but is worried about the reaction of Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who has spearheaded the overhaul, the channel reports citing unnamed Likud party sources.

The intensity of protests and particularly a wave of reserves refusing to keep serving have set the premier on edge, and he now hopes that Levin and Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rothman can be reined in with help from President Isaac Herzog, who has pushed for the coalition and opposition to hold talks on softening the legislation, Channel 12 says.

The channel reports that Herzog has put together a draft framework of a compromise plan by consulting with academics representing both opposition and coalition viewpoints, in the hopes politicians will eventually come to the table and agree to plug their compromises into the Knesset bills, instead of the coalition’s proposals.

Among other outstanding issues is the size and makeup of the panel that nominates judges, which the coalition has sought to impose political control over. The channel reports that it seems clear the coalition will not be able to pass a law giving it an automatic majority on such decisions.

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