President mediating compromise talks on judicial reform

“Globes” has learned that discussions have begun on a compromise over the government’s judicial reform plans. In telephone conversations and meetings held by President Isaac Herzog with Simcha Rothman and Yariv Levin on the one hand and Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid on the other, compromise ideas have been formulated for all aspects of the reform.

Herzog has been keeping President of the Supreme Court Esther Hayut informed of progress in the talks. Over 150 businesspeople and academics have supported a call for dialogue on the government’s plans.

Sources inform “Globes” that the sides have been asked to submit their comments on the compromise drafted by President Herzog, and at least some comments have already been relayed to him. On both sides, however, there are internal differences of opinion.

On the coalition side, Shas leader Aryeh Deri is the leading voice in favor of dialogue. Surprisingly, people in the Religious Zionist party too have come out in favor of compromise, after a letter from several leading rabbis in that camp this week expressed approval for such a move. Minister of Justice Levin continues to lead a more hawkish line opposing any material changes to the proposed legislation. It has been reported that if any changes are introduced over his head, he will consider resigning, but his bureau vigorously denies this.

On the other side, Gantz is leading the call for dialogue, while Lapid has set tough prior conditions. Nevertheless, he and his associates too are examining the various compromise formulas and responding to them.

Rothman, who is chairperson of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, committed to bringing the first two bills enacting the reforms before the Knesset for first reading this Monday, but “Globes” has learned that that there is a possibility of a further postponement if there is progress in the closed talks. Approval of the bills at first reading will be a severe blow to the chances of success for Herzog’s initiative.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on February 16, 2023.

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