This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, contains the episode of the golden calf. The coalition government in Israel is worshiping the golden calf.
I wrote about the Israeli government’s plan to weaken the judiciary a couple of weeks ago. The underlying premise for this plan is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s fear he will be indicted and convicted.
A new wave of mass demonstrations against a government plan to limit judicial independence swept across Israel on Thursday, with protesters restricting road access to the country’s main airport, Ben-Gurion International, near Tel Aviv, hours before was to fly to Italy.
More than 20 protesters were arrested, according to Kan, the Israeli public broadcaster. Some demonstrators parked their cars on an access road to the airport, slowing the entry of passengers and prompting the police to warn that the cars would be towed. [The New York “Times,” March 9, 2023]
Some demonstrators parked their cars on an access road to the airport, Ben-Gurion International, near Tel Aviv, slowing the entry of passengers and prompting the police to warn that the cars would be towed. [The New York “Times,” March 9, 2023]
On Thursday, Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, took an unusually strong stance against the overhaul, breaking with his previous strategy of attempting to act as an impartial broker between the sides. Describing the impasse as a “nightmare,” Herzog said the proposal, as it is currently drafted, “undermines the foundations of democracy” and “needs to disappear from this world, and soon.”
Compromise is possible. A group of law professors and lawmakers has been working behind the scenes for weeks toward a compromise. At least 10 legal experts have met secretly for several hours with the government lawmakers leading the overhaul plans, Simcha Rothman and Yariv Levin, according to three people involved in the discussions.
The talks between the lawmakers and the professors have centered on whether Netanyahu’s right-wing government may modify its plans to allow Parliament to override Supreme Court decisions, restrict the court’s ability to block laws passed by Parliament, and give the government control over the committee that appoints new judges. Netanyahu has said publicly that he supports dialogue with opponents, but has not discussed specifics, and it remains unclear what guidance he has given Levin and Rothman.
Moses rallied the Levites to kill thousands of Israelites. We hope that weakening the judiciary will not kill thousands of people.