Israel is in a 'national state of emergency' says Herzog as Knesset vote gets underway

The Israeli president reiterated call for compromise on judicial reform


Anti-overhaul activists block a raod during a protest against the government's judicial overhaul, near the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on July 24, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ??? ???? ????? ??????? ???? ????? ???????? ???? ??????? ????????

(JNS) Israel is “in a state of national emergency,” President Isaac Herzog said on Monday as he worked to forge a last-minute compromise on judicial reform legislation close to becoming law.

“We are working around the clock, in every possible way, to find a solution. The infrastructure for a possible understanding exists, yet gaps remain that require the various parties to show responsibility," the president added in a statement.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid subsequently announced that the talks had broken down, and the hours-long voting process to pass into law an amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary kicked off.

The law would limit the Supreme Court’s use of the so-called reasonableness standard to strike down Knesset legislation and government decisions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at his Jerusalem office in the afternoon after being released from hospital in the morning following a procedure to implant a cardiac pacemaker overnight Saturday.

He met with both Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
Leaders of the opposition said they would boycott the third and final reading of the “reasonableness bill" unless a consensus was reached on the issue.

Meanwhile, senior military officials were scheduled to brief the Security Cabinet, the Defense Ministry said.

“The IDF will brief Cabinet ministers this morning regarding the security situation and the IDF’s readiness,” the office of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement.
The briefing comes as thousands of military reservists are threatening not to report for duty if the amendment passes.

A U.S. official told Axios that the crisis in the military is causing concern at the Pentagon that it “could have negative implications for Israel’s deterrence strategy and encourage Iran or Hezbollah to conduct military provocations that could escalate the situation in the region.

“The crisis, especially within the Israeli Air Force, could also have negative operational implications for U.S. forces that closely cooperate with Israel in the region,” the Axios report stated.

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