Netanyahu vows to overhaul Supreme Court despite months of protests

Written by Bushra Bani-Salman

Israel’s parliament has approved Netanyahu’s bill to make it more difficult to remove him from office. The law will take the removal power away from the attorney general and the courts and instead give it to the parliament. Furthermore, some proceedings would give the government more control over court appointments, restrict judicial review of legislation, and allow parliament to override court decisions.

Critics say this bill protects Netanyahu, who is in a prolonged trial where he is accused of corruption. The trial entails three separate cases where he is accused of accepting around $300,000 in gifts, lobbying the United States government to renew his friend’s visa, and discussing other quid pro quo agreements that would allow him to get supportive coverage from newspapers. Netanyahu denies that changes to the Supreme Court are to spare himself from any prosecution.

Tens of thousands of protestors have been demonstrating against the right-wing government’s plans for three months now. Demonstrators have clashed with police and right-wing supporters of Netanyahu, resulting in nearly 100 arrests. 

Meanwhile, President Biden has expressed concern over Netanyahu’s plan, stressing the importance of checks and balances and abiding by popular support. Likewise, Israel’s defense minister warned Netanyahu of the risks of political dissent on the military, but the Prime Minister proceeded, notwithstanding, with plans.

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