The Knesset (Israel Parliament) also passed a raft of legislative changes to the country’s semi-constitutional Basic Laws, paving the way for a government to be established after more than a year of political deadlock.
The parties also decided that emergency orders instated to fight the coronavirus pandemic would not extend beyond six months.
The bill known as the „Norwegian law,“ which allows any Member of Knesset (Israel Parliament) appointed to a ministerial post to temporarily resign from the legislative chamber, will reportedly be dropped.
Every day that passes provides more proof of the twisted state of Israeli democracy, in which a defendant under criminal indictment leads the government and is a candidate to form the next one.
The moment Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his plan to use “technological methods from the war on terror” to track coronavirus patients, it was clear that it would be impossible to take this candy away from the government’s eager hands. The term “dangerous precedent” was coined for just such situations, in which a tool created for extreme situations slowly makes its way into daily life.
Nothing of the like has been seen before – not in Israel or in any other advanced democracy. This political agreement, fundamentally corrupt and rotten, emasculates the Knesset under cover of the coronavirus, undermines the foundations of our system of government and subordinates the Supreme Court to the government.
The obvious reason for its existence is neither the coronavirus nor the crisis, but immunity for the criminal defendant, Benjamin Netanyahu, in any situation and at any price.
“Let there be no doubt, the High Court will take the opportunity to oust me,” Netanyahu himself says in these conversations. He warns that if the court prevents him from being prime minister, or if a law is enacted banning him from running for the post in the future, a civil rebellion will erupt. “Masses will take to the streets,” he predicts. “There will be a call to boycott the election.”
Der seit 14 Jahren in Israel regierende Netanjahu steht wegen Bestechlichkeit, Betrugs und Untreue unter Anklage. Er streitet alle Vorwürfe ab und sieht sich als Opfer der Staatsanwaltschaft und der Medien.
Der Korruptionsprozess gegen ihn hätte eigentlich Mitte März beginnen sollen, wurde aber wegen der Coronavirus-Pandemie um zwei Monate auf den 24. Mai verschoben.
Liegt das Mandat bei der Knesset, kann jeder Abgeordnete – auch Gantz und Netanjahu – versuchen, binnen 21 Tagen die Unterstützung von 61 der insgesamt 120 Parlamentarier zu finden. Danach hat er noch einmal zwei Wochen Zeit, eine Koalition zu schmieden. Scheitert dies, muss Israel zum vierten Mal seit April 2019 wählen.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz failed to reach a deal after they met Wednesday for the third time since Monday, in a last-moment attempt to form a national unity government to confront the ongoing health emergency and the upcoming economic crisis.
One of first jobs facing a Netanyahu-Gantz government will be to appoint a permanent state prosecutor. Netanyahu must not be allowed to control or have even the slightest influence over who gets this post, given the important role the state prosecutor will play both in managing Netanyahu’s trial and in potential future investigations.
The Blue and White alliance finalized its split Sunday, which saw Benny Gantz-led faction, set to form a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, divorcing fellow centrist parties Telem and Yesh Atid, who will remain in opposition.
Israel Resilience party leader Benny Gantz will reportedly support a new law allowing incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve in the government despite multiple indictments against him, according to Hebrew media.
Current Israeli Parliament (Knesset) legislation bars elected officials from serving as government ministers while being charged with a crime.
Horovitz added that Gantz was “spitting in the face” of his voters with his latest decision.
The Meretz leader called on others in the left bloc to not support this move.
In a dramatic turn of events, the Blue and White Party that served as the alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2 election, broke up on Thursday after party head Benny Gantz decided to enter Netanyahu’s government.
Israel’s Supreme Court ordered a Thursday vote to elect a new Knesset (Israeli Parliament) speaker after Yuli Edelstein announced his resignation Wednesday, allowing senior MKAmir Peretz to lead the plenary.
The court decided late Wednesday night to hold the vote Thursday.
In the ruling, Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut attacked Edelstein, saying he had committed „an unprecedented violation of the rule of law.“ Hayut had strongly criticized Edelstein’s decision to lock the plenary contrary to the court’s decision.
Earlier, the High Court debated a petition to accuse Edelstein of dishonoring the court, after he resigned earlier Wednesday, locking the Knesset plenum contrary to the court’s decision, which ruled that a new Speaker will be selected by Wednesday midnight.
Never before has such a senior public official – Edelstein is second in line to President Rivlin in the state’s official hierarchy – thumbed his nose so directly at Israel’s judicial system, sparking an unprecedented constitutional crisis in the midst of the coronavirus crisis which is plaguing both Israel and the world.
There’s no direct analogy, of course, with the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that spurred FDR to make his famous “infamy speech” while asking Congress to approve a declaration of war against Japan – other than in the potential if not existential threat that Edelstein’s move poses to Israel’s future.
This prompted the High Court to convene urgently to decide how to move forward, with proceedings seemingly set to extend into the night.
According to Knesset protocols, Edelstein’s resignation will come into effect within 48 hours. The Knesset won’t be able to vote on a new Knesset speaker until then, and Edelstein said that the Knesset will not be able to convene for a vote until Monday. Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan is looking into ways to circumvent the protocols and appoint an acting Knesset speaker.
Nach starkem Druck der Opposition zu seiner Ablösung hat Israels Parlamentspräsident Juli Edelstein heute seinen Rücktritt erklärt. Der Schritt erfolgte vor einer erwarteten Abstimmung über einen neuen Parlamentspräsidenten. Das höchste Gericht in Jerusalem hatte festgelegt, die Wahl müsse spätestens heute abgehalten werden.
While last week Gantz agreed in principle to join a unity government with Likud that would be headed by Netanyahu for a limited period until Gantz replaced him, he has pulled back following criticism from supporters.
“First, we will get Israeli democracy back to working – and later we will form a government that will deal with the coronavirus and the other challenges that are on the line,” Gantz wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “We must not let the coronavirus crisis, which requires thorough attention – medical, social and economic – trample over Israeli democracy. Not on my watch.”
Other special committees to be established will focus on education, violence in Israeli Arab communities and labor and welfare; the four special panels will need to be approved by the plenum Tuesday.
These included Finance and Foreign Affairs and Defense panels, with the latter set to establish a special committee that will supervise the contentious Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)-led coronavirus patients surveillance program.
Hanegbi, who heads the Agriculture Ministry, and Elkin, minister for Jerusalem affairs and environmental protection, are joining Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Likud parliamentarian Gideon Sa’ar, who is known as a Netanyahu rival, in supporting the court’s decision.
Despite also voicing criticism of the ruling, on Monday Erdan said „we must respect the ruling or else resign ourselves to anarchy,“ while Sa’ar stressed that calls not to accept a direct court ruling are „unacceptable.“
A lawmaker from Benny Gantz’s party was appointed as the chairman of a crucial Knesset committee and the Knesset approved two additional committees late Monday night, allowing the parliament to begin its work following Israel’s March 2 election…
Crazy turn of events.
The High Court ruled in a unanimous decision Monday that Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein must convene the Knesset no later than Wednesday, to elect his replacement.
The right-wing bloc aligned with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boycotted the vote, excluding Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein who abstained and Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Gallant, who attended as a representative of the government, but did not participate in the vote.
The composition of the arrangements committee will give the center-left bloc a one seat advantage with 9 members, relative to the right-wing bloc’s eight members.
Israel’s High Court of Justice approved Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s request to submit his answer today at 9 pm (local time) regarding whether he will convene a parliamentary vote for his replacement.
Throughout Israel’s 72-year existence, the Knesset Speaker had only been replaced once a new government was sworn in. Thus, replacing Edelstein before a government is formed would represent an unprecedented move, even with a majority vote.
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the country’s parliament to reconvene for the selection of a new speaker, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he tries to steer the country through the coronavirus crisis and fend off a looming corruption trial.
The current speaker, Yuli Edelstein of Netanyahu’s Likud party, suspended the parliament’s activities last week, citing procedural issues and restrictions on large gatherings due to the virus.
Edelstein, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, last week suspended parliamentary activities, preventing the newly elected legislature from choosing a new speaker and forming committees critical to the country’s fight against coronavirus.
Monday is an important test for Israeli democracy. The Knesset is due to resume its deliberations amidst the political crisis and the spread of the coronavirus.
If the Knesset chairman Yuri Edelstein, backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political hatchetmen from Likud, continue with their delay tactics to prevent the legislative branch performing its duty, Israel will win the dubious title of the only „parliamentary democracy“ to fail to recognize the results of its last democratic general election and to be governed by an inoperative parliament.
Since a majority of Knesset members – 61 out of 120 – oppose the government, Edelstein was dispatched to block the activity of the legislature and prevent it from voting in a new speaker. It is inconceivable that a temporary speaker would use his authority to set the agenda in order to prevent the selection of a permanent speaker. It is parliamentary bullying, and it must stop immediately.
For years and years, we wondered when the occupation would come home.
It happened this week.
As the settlers once said in a different context: Yesha Zeh Kan – Judea, Samaria and Gaza are here.
One set of laws for the tyrant’s allies. Another set of laws for everyone else. Innocent civilians hounded. Their persecutor – never held accountable.
Raise the black flag. Stand up to the tyrant.
This is the fitting flag for this new Israel.
Panic over the coronavirus, justified as it may be, mustn’t blind the public from seeing how the temporary prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and members of his party are exploiting the crisis to hold onto power. Through their management of the coronavirus crisis, Netanyahu and his government are neutralizing the justice system and quarantining the legislature.
These special means include gathering data about a person’s location via their cellphone and additional technological information using secret tools, and cross-referencing all of the data.
The process identifies all of the contacts coronavirus patients have had and the places they were, whether they are aware of it or not.
Protesters said they were angry at anti-democratic measures being taken to fight the coronavirus outbreak, such as this week’s decision to use cyber measures to track the location of people diagnosed with the virus as well as suspected coronavirus patients, in addition to strict restrictions to achieve social distancing, such as barring thousands of people from leaving their homes.
Further, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein dispersed parliament on Wednesday, deepening the paralyzation of Israel’s legislative body, which critics have seen as an attack on the checks and balances within Israel’s democratic institutions.
Blue and White expressed outrage, accusing Edelstein of „trampling Israeli democracy at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s behest.“ The party said it would appeal to the Supreme Court against Edelstein on Thursday to force him to convene the plenum and „end the craziness.“
We are about to let the government gain absolute control over our lives – and thus know who we are, where we have been, when and with whom and who we speak to and when – without any form of consent or restriction.
By preventing the formation of the organizing committee, Speaker Yuli Edelstein also hampers the formation of the Knesset oversight committees on the coronavirus crisis
Edelstein has effectively prorogued parliament and with a total coronavirus shutdown expected in Israel any day now, politicians and political commentators have argued that the speaker’s actions have engendered one of Israel’s severest constitutional crises ever.
„The manner of how the inauguration will take place will be decided after another assessment tomorrow with relevant professionals,“ Edelstein said.
Replacing Edelstein could let Kahol Lavan push through legislation to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government while under indictment
Earlier the Kahol Lavan leader met with Lieberman, agreeing that the main goal is to avoid a fourth round of elections ■ Gantz to hold meeting with all four leaders of Joint List faction Tuesday
Joint List MK and Balad Chairman Mtanes Shehadeh said Saturday following Gantz and Netenyahu’s statements that „the arab community has spoken, they want a change in their position and aim for an end to discrimination and racism. Netanyahu would die to disqualify them but could not, and Gantz would have liked to ignore them but he couldn’t.“
Netanyahu made his decision public after his chief political rival, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz – who met with Trump on Monday but decided to skip the release of the peace plan in order to take part in the immunity debate – was already back in Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hours before facing a likely defeat in the Israeli parliament, withdrew his request for official immunity from prosecution on corruption charges Tuesday, giving up a controversial gambit to shield himself from legal peril a month before a national election.
The Yisrael Beiteinu chairman, who according to recent polls could once again be kingmaker and decide the leader of which political bloc would secure the backing of enough lawmakers to become prime minister after Israel’s March 2 election, added that „Instead of driving two-and-a-half kilometers to the Knesset, he [Netanyahu] prefers to fly 9,500 kilometers to Washington.“
Bashing the premier, Lieberman said: „It’s clear that Netanyahu worked very hard to escape [the immunity discussions], and it would be best if he kisses his immunity goodbye before he brings peace to the Middle East.“
The Knesset is set to vote next week on forming the panel that will weigh — and likely reject — Netanyahu’s request, with deliberations scheduled to begin at the end of month.
In Likud, the assumption is that Netanyahu himself will not be present at the hearings and may not even send his lawyers, Channel 12 news reported.
Speaker of the Israeli Parliament Yuli Edelstein announced Sunday that a full debate in the Knesset plenum will be held next week on establishing a key committee that may strip away Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s immunity from prosecution.
The lawmakers with Likud and other right-wing parties stormed out of the room amid a heated debate on the legality of the gathering, paving the way to a 16-1 vote overruling a prior vote that granted Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein the power to pick members of the House Committee.
At the start of the gathering, panel chair Avi Nissenkorn (Blue & White party) urged lawmakers to abstain from trying to sabotage the discussion on immunity.
It’s a dry procedural vote — technically an overturning of a previous decision of the Arrangements Committee on December 15 reserving that right to the Knesset speaker — but with dramatic consequences.
The Israeli opposition pushed Sunday for parliament to swiftly address Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s immunity request, potentially speeding up the embattled leader’s appearance in court.
As Knesset Speaker, Yuli Edelstein has the authority to block the Knesset Arrangements Committee from meeting, thereby blocking the convening of the House Committee and preventing it from discussing the immunity request.
This is Edelstein’s most important test as an elected official: Will he be faithful to his position as Knesset speaker, or will he be faithful to the man who has decided to hold the country hostage?
By requesting immunity Netanyahu hopes to postpone all of this until after the March 2 election. But he knows from all the incessant polling he has carried out that this is a hard sell, even among his right-wing base. In recent days, he tried to float his “immunity is a cornerstone of democracy” canard, but it didn’t fly.
Am 2. März ist eine dritte Parlamentswahl angesetzt. Nach Einschätzung des Politik-Experten Amir Fuchs wird vor einer Regierungsbildung nach der Wahl kein Komitee zustande kommen. Eine Abstimmung über die Immunität könne damit möglicherweise erst im Mai stattfinden.
According to Israeli law, the Knesset House Committee is to discuss his request and should it be approved, the request will need to pass a vote by the Knesset plenum.
However, since the House Committee has not been appointed since the April general election, and is not expected to be assembled before the upcoming March election, the discussion will only take place in several months. Until the committee makes a decision, an indictment against Netanyahu can’t be handed officially to the court.
Israel’s incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s deadline to formally request immunity from Knesset (Israeli parliament) Speaker Yuli Edelstein expires Wednesday night.
It is expected that Netanyahu will opt for protection from prosecution in three corruption cases against him, Hebrew media reported.
Netanyahu has said he will announce this week whether he will seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution. The survey found that just 33 percent supporting such a move and 51% oppose it — indicating that there is significant objection even within the right.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has added a new definition to the language he’s invented, which he is using to distort reality. On Saturday night he said that his appeal to the Knesset to grant him immunity “would not be avoiding standing trial.” As is his wont, Netanyahu is trying to confuse the public and plant doubts regarding what is self-evident, whether this applies to norms of governance, social norms or dictionary definitions. All of this is meant to garner public support for his reckless conduct and his flight from the arm of the law.
For a decade, Netanyahu dominated Israel like few others since founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion, leaving a huge imprint on every sphere: diplomatic, economic, military.
But in 2019 – Netanyahu’s own annus horribilis, as Queen Elizabeth II referred to her own “horrible year” in 1992 – his utter dominance began to fade.
Channel 12 reported earlier this month that Israel’s longest-serving premier will request immunity by the end of December.
if I may, I would like to apply pressure on the judges from the other end of the spectrum. Not from the side of Netanyahu’s devotees, but from the side of those who are devoted to an impartial process, the rule of law and the continued peaceful existence of our democracy.
Please, do not involve yourself in this matter. Looking out at the world through the windows of the halls of justice can obscure the bigger picture sometimes. Caring only for your close compatriots and friends could be dangerous.
We’re in this situation because of the cowards – people like Mendelblit, who had no problem accepting a role as a gatekeeper without growing the requisite backbone. We’re here because for months after the recommendations by the police and the prosecution, the attorney general continued to drag his feet.
And after deciding to file indictments, he didn’t intervene as Netanyahu dragged us into yet another election while using all the power of his status to vilify the legal system that the attorney general is supposed to defend.
Das israelische Parlament hat in einer Vorabstimmung für seine eigene Auflösung votiert. Damit ebneten die Abgeordneten den Weg für eine dritte Parlamentswahl innerhalb von zwölf Monaten.
The corruption involved in the purchase of submarines and ships from the German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp makes it among the worst such affairs in Israel’s history. It involves bribery, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering by a criminal network that functioned at the highest levels of Israel’s government and business people between 2009 and 2019 , funnelling government funds from the defense budget into private pockets, by swaying decisions regarding purchases from the German shipbuilder.
Unfortunately, history teaches that the current legislative branch has ceased to be a separate entity that can help balance the executive branch; it’s an arm of the cabinet. In effect, of the three branches of modern democracy, only two remain.
According to the report, Edelstein planned to announce an agreed deal in a press conference on Wednesday, after receiving signatures supporting the move from Blue & White’s Benny Gantz, Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Liberman, and two-thirds of the Likud faction.
However, at the end of a five-day political maneuver, the Likud’s second on the Knesset list — preceded only by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — realized he does not have enough votes to push forth the idea,
Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz met on Thursday with the leaders of the Joint List, an alliance of four Arab-majority parties, as part of his effort to form a governing coalition after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to do so.
MK Ofer Shelah of Kahol Lavan, who was interviewed after Tibi, said he did not rule out such a proposal.
The Israeli government has done everything in its power to reject those of us who are Arab Palestinian citizens, but our influence has only grown. We will be the cornerstone of democracy.
Parliamentarian Aymen Odeh told Army Radio Wednesday morning he would consider supporting Netanyahu’s chief political rival as official results trickling in continued to solidify a strong showing for the coalition of Arab parties.
The chairman of the Joint List of Arab parties, Ayman Odeh, said Wednesday that he may recommend Blue and White leader Benny Gantz as the next prime minister when he meets with President Reuven Rivlin.
Gantz has already reached out to him, Odeh said, adding that “on Wednesday afternoon, we will decide which path to take.”
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein had Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) forcibly removed from the Knesset chamber on Wednesday, September 11, during the debate before a vote on the contentious bill that would have allowed cameras to be deployed in polling stations during the general elections on Tuesday, September 17.
The poll also contains good news for Netanyahu – it has the far-right Otzma Yehudit party passing the electoral threshold and receiving four seats, giving the right-wing bloc led by Likud 59 seats without the support of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu – close to the 61 required to create a coalition, with the center-left bloc garnering 54 seats.
Netanyahu has been in favor, since his earliest days as a politician over three decades ago, of a presidential system of governance – without insisting on a constitution to check and balance the president’s power, however. He sees the Israeli parliament as an unnecessary nuisance. In recent years, he has described every perfectly legal and legitimate attempt to replace him as a “coup.” As far as he’s concerned, the only purpose of an election is to confirm his personal mandate to rule.
Hadash MK Ofer Cassif placed responsibility for the escalation of violence between Israel and Hezbollah on Sunday, September 1, at the doorstep of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him “the serial criminal from Balfour Street.”
Cassif said “Netanyahu and his servants are responsible” for the recent clash, adding they mean to “occupy the seat of power with blood and to ensure the criminal [Netanyahu] will escape prison.”
Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) agreed saying, “We will not be silent when the cannons roar” and warned that a further war “will not bring security, only death, destruction and victims on both sides.”
The formation of the joint ticket has been delayed by disagreements over who should occupy the 11th through 14th slots on the slate (Jack Khoury, Monday). But if they can’t bridge these gaps and reunite as the Joint List, those slots are likely to be irrelevant in any case.
Strengthening Arab representation in the legislature and toppling the government are necessary conditions for fighting the Netanyahu-led coalition that passed the nation-state law. This isn’t the time for unnecessary quarrels or disputes that can be resolved after the election. The Israeli voter rewards political mergers. The Joint List must be promptly reconstituted.
There is only one reason behind all of this: A lack of agreement over who will get the 11th through 14th places on the Knesset slate
The dispute is over how to divide spots 11 through 14 on the joint ticket, the same problem that scotched the four-party framework in the election this past April.
Jurist Raif Zreik, who is holding talks with the parties, has warned in recent days about a massive hemorrhaging of the Arab community’s confidence in the parties.
„Netanyahu pressed the button for the Knesset dissolution and there is no turning back,“ Gantz says in a statement to the media from Tel Aviv. „Netanyahu sees (election) polls and invents lies.“
Anyone speaking to people close to the prime minister and his ministers are hearing panic that stems not just from Benjamin Netanyahu’s vigorous attempt to stop the clock on the new election. On the agenda, they whisper, is a pending security crisis. The evil will come from the Persian Gulf, the Gaza Strip or the northern border, generated by Iran and its proxies. Then the military agenda will soon overwhelm the political one, overshadowing the political parties’ petty considerations.
TV survey projects center-left and Arab parties would win more seats than right-wing and Orthodox factions, though path to forming government far from clear
Speaking this morning with Army Radio, Yuli Edelstein said that Knesset members from many factions approached him to discuss the election. „All the conversation ended with the same line: ‚Wow, what a mistake we made.'“
Hadash (The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel) and three political parties representing the Arab-Palestinian national minority in Israel, Ta’al, Ra’am and Balad, have announced they will reunite for the upcoming Knesset elections.
Sources in the Knesset said that the prime minister could push for a law cancelling the Knesset’s dispersal despite Yinon’s view, however the High Court of Justice would most likely block the move. Sources told Haaretz the chance of passing a law that would annul the dissolvement is practically zero.
Netanyahu and Blue and White party co-chairman Benny Gantz are reportedly not personally involved in any negotiations over a unity government.
Blue and White issued a statement reacting to the report, saying, “There is only one option for cancelling the elections: Netanyahu steps down to deal with his legal issues and Blue and White will lead a wide government.”
Yair Lapid, the co-chair of opposition party Kahol Lavan, said on Sunday that he believes a unity government headed by his outfit is the „right thing for Israel.“
Lapid said he would agree to form a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to comments made by former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday.