Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a proposal for compromise on constitutional and judicial reforms put forward by Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
The proposal was intended to replace the government’s controversial judicial overhaul plan, which has faced mass protests for months.
Herzog’s proposal sought to limit the Supreme Court’s power to strike down certain laws and administrative decisions, while also changing the balance of power on the committee that appoints judges.
However, it did not include an override clause that would enable the Knesset to cancel Supreme Court rulings – a key aspect of the government’s current overhaul plan.
The proposal also called for drafting a bill of rights for the first time since Israel’s founding, including a basic law to protect minority rights, prevent discrimination, and establish the principles of equality, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.
Netanyahu rejected the proposal, stating that many parts of it perpetuated the current power imbalance between the branches of government.
Reports suggest that Netanyahu initially wanted to accept the proposal, but backed off after Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who is leading the judicial overhaul, threatened to resign.
Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned in a speech that the current debate in the country is dangerously filled with hateful rhetoric from all sides, even beyond what he could have imagined in his worst nightmares.
He expressed concern that the country is on the brink of a civil war, stating that anyone who thinks such a conflict could not happen in Israel does not understand the gravity of the situation. Herzog emphasized that a civil war is a red line and must not be allowed to occur.
The proposal made by Herzog to compromise on constitutional and judicial reforms received support from opposition leader Yair Lapid and former Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party.
However, some members of Knesset and ministers from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party criticized Herzog’s proposal and suggested that it be rejected.