After Judicial Reform Vote, Netanyahu Calls for Negotiations, Opposition to Challenge Law in Court

JERUSALEM, Israel – One day after the Knesset’s historic vote to stop the Supreme Court from using the “reasonableness” standard in judicial decisions, Israelis are still divided over the issue. Some are warning of civil war, while others are hoping for reconciliation.

Just hours after the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on national TV and extended a hand to the opposition.  

“I say to the opposition leaders: you can continue to argue, you can continue to fight, but you can also do something else: you can reach agreements about what to do next. Let’s come to an agreement. This is my call to you, and I extend my hand to call for peace and mutual respect within us,” Netanyahu urged.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid announced he will challenge the legislation in the Supreme Court. That could set up a major showdown between justices and the legislature in the coming months. 

In the meantime, demonstrations continued throughout the night in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and protest leaders said their fight had just begun, and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the media that Israel is now entering a period of civil disobedience and even civil war.  

However, Prime Minister Netanyahu began his message with a hopeful note: he said he was moved when he saw a video of demonstrators from both sides in a train station, with advocates of judicial reform going up and opponents going down.

Despite their differences, they began to reach out and shake hands – as Netanyahu said, “not as enemies, but as brothers.”

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