Opposition dragging Israel into chaos, warns finance minister – Middle East Monitor

Israel’s opposition is dragging the country into chaos, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich warned yesterday.

“Last week, we witnessed the ferment of the opposition,” Smotrich was quoted by Maariv as saying during his far-right party’s meeting.

Smotrich accused the latter of lacking “responsibility and restraint” and “dragging us toward chaos.”

The Israeli official said that he has instructed that necessary modifications be made to the judiciary reforms in line with what was agreed on with the opposition during recent talks at the Israeli president’s residence.

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated on Saturday night for the 24th straight week against government plans for judicial reform.

READ: Israel judicial overhaul plan frozen as opposition accuses Netanyahu of ‘lying’

Israel has been in political turmoil in recent months over the planned judicial reform by the Netanyahu government.

Advocates of the suspended overhaul, which grants almost complete control of bench appointments to the right-wing coalition government, say the Supreme Court is elitist, left-leaning and overreaching, and that elected officials should have more power in picking judges.

Opponents say this would politicise and weaken a strong Supreme Court that plays a major role in Israel’s democratic checks and balances; maintaining a separation between the judiciary and state. They also point out that the planned changes come as Netanyahu faces several counts of corruption.

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