In Israel, doctors began a 24-hour strike, and more reservists were asked to suspend their service. This is a reaction to the controversial reform of the judiciary pushed by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Yesterday the government adopted one of its most important elements.
More than 1,100 Air Force reservists last week IsraelAirmen, including hundreds of airmen, signed a letter announcing that they would end volunteer service in the reserves, in protest of the government’s plans to reform the judiciary.
Dozens of former top Israeli security officials, including the Mossad and Shin Bet, as well as military leaders, sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Sunday, urging a halt to work on judicial reform. The bill “shatters the foundations of Israeli society, tears the nation apart, disintegrates the Israeli army (…). the legislative process The 75-year-old social contract between thousands of commanders and reservists is being violated.
“There has been an increase in stop-service requests.” The speaker did not give a number
“There has been an increase in the number of requests to stop reserve service,” Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hajjari told reporters on Tuesday. “If the reservists do not serve for a long time, the military readiness will suffer,” he said. The spokesman did not provide details on the number of requests.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, commenting on Army Radio, stated that the army was on combat alert, even though the reservists wanted to “put a gun to the head of the government.”
Opposition leader Yair Lapid asked protesters on the sidelines to wait until the Supreme Court rules on appeals against the new law. This has already been introduced, among others, by the Israel Bar Association.
The day before, the Israeli parliament adopted one of the most important elements of a controversial reform that limits the powers of the Supreme Court. Until now, judges could overrule government decisions if they deemed them “irrational,” that is, disproportionately focused on political interest without sufficient regard for the public interest.
Reuters pointed out that the crisis in Israel “severely divided society and hit the economy hard, causing foreign investors to flee, weakening the currency, and raising the specter of a general strike by the Histadrut, the Israeli trade union.”
It was noted that decisions related to changes in the judiciary would lead to strained relations with the West, including with the United States, which had expressed concerns about the planned reform.
Doctors protest. Thousands of them will not be silent.
Doctors in the country also protested. On Tuesday, as part of the protest announced by the Israel Medical Association, thousands of people did not show up to work. The Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court has ordered their return to service.
“Doctors will go back to work tomorrow, but I can tell you that thousands of them will not shut up because there is a strong feeling that we cannot work when Israel is no longer a democracy,” said Hagai Levin, president of the Israel Association of Public Health Physicians.
Earlier, on the night from Sunday to Monday, the Israel Business Forum, which brings together some 150 of the country’s largest companies, decided to go on strike. Because of this decision, most gas stations in Israel were closed on Mondays, as were shopping centers. The largest law firms also went on strike.
“We call on the prime minister to do his duty and understand the magnitude of the disaster that may result,” the forum said in a statement.
And the Associated Press indicated that the Netanyahu government, which took power in December, is the most nationalist and Haredi government in Israel’s 75-year history. Critics of the judicial reform say it would upend the country’s fragile checks and balances and centralize power in Netanyahu’s hands. Since the prime minister is accused of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes, trying to subject the courts to political scrutiny is, in their view, a manifestation of a conflict of interest.
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