Comment by Robin Benson
“Anyone who thinks that a real civil war, of human life, is a line that we will not reach has no idea, the abyss is within touching distance” – President Isaac Herzog
This was Israel’s President Herzog’s stark appraisal of the apparent political stalemate between Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition and all those – from just about every segment of Israeli society – who oppose the measures being steered through Israel’s Knesset to curtail the openly acknowledged overreach of Israel’s judicial system…especially its Supreme Court.
The claim by the current governing coalition (like its predecessor) is that the 15 judges of the Supreme Court – who are currently chosen solely by other members of Israel’s left-leaning judiciary – have regularly interfered in government business by exercising their veto.
They have curtailed the freedom of Israel Defence Force (IDF) units from carrying out their legitimate security duties in past conflicts with the nation’s enemies and blocked government plans to build homes in various Jewish communities.
Yet the judges have turned a blind eye to the ongoing illegal building by Arabs on government-controlled land, which has been going on for years, and is funded by taxpayers in the UK, the EU, and the USA, among others.
But tens of thousands of citizens have been demonstrating every Thursday in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other major Israelis cities; they come from all strata of Israeli society. Hundreds of IDF reservists are refusing to turn up for training exercises, while professionals from the financial sector, from hospitals, schools and universities, the legal professions, dock workers in Haifa and Ashdod are all lamenting, as loudly as they can, that these measures to curb judicial interference in government policy are “A threat to democracy!”
The puzzling thing is that part of what these “pro-democracy” protestors want is to topple a democratically elected government, and above all else remove the current Prime Minister from office. Some have even openly called for the assassination of members of the government!
Tens of thousands of citizens have been demonstrating every Thursday
But what many will not acknowledge is that the opposition leaders of this protest movement, such as the previous Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, and his then Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, were once calling for these same reforms…but of course, that was when they were in power.
What most of the left-leaning media do not report is that although many IDF reservists have said they will not turn up for training exercises, several thousand serving members of the IDF – in all branches – have signed a petition saying that they will serve the nation under any circumstances and are calling for the IDF to be left out of these political wranglings.
The sad reality is that to become Israel’s Prime Minister again, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu and his Likud Party have allied themselves with several smaller, right-wing religious parties. The latter all have very specific agendas and are led by inexperienced political hotheads.
You only need to note the unwise comments from Bezalel Smotrich, the Finance Minister, who had to very quickly row back comments about wiping off the map the Arab town of Huwara, after two young Israelis were recently assassinated in it. Or Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Security Minister, who in a very public way is at loggerheads with Israel’s Attorney-General over the judicial reforms, as well as with several senior police officers over the way the ongoing ant-reform protests are being handled…or not, as far as he is concerned. So, Israel-watchers are seeing the “fruit” of these uneasy alliances ripen before their eyes.
Bubbling away in the background are also the moves in the parliament to bring another religious political leader, Ariyeh Deri, back into the cabinet. He has several corruption convictions to his name and had to be removed from the government – although not from the Knesset – when the Supreme Court ruled that he was not fit for public office. And of course, there are the various court cases against the Prime Minister himself. Netanyahu’s critics argue that he intends to weaken the Supreme Court’s ‘veto power’ and then ‘adjust’ Israel’s law to disallow a standing PM from being convicted or imprisoned.
Israel’s reputation for deterrence is being shredded in the eyes of her enemies
So, Bibi’s problem is that unless he keeps these religiously motivated parties onboard, his coalition will collapse, and he will be out of power yet again. Yet to keep them onside, he is facing a looming head-on confrontation with the Supreme Court.
President Herzog has called for a halt to these judicial reforms being steered at top speed through the Knesset. The Opposition leaders are now willing to actually sit down and discuss the reforms with the current coalition leaders.
But the Prime Minister has publicly rebuffed both. So, who will win this one is anyone’s guess…but it will most likely be even messier than the present political and legal stalemate.
In the meantime, Israel’s reputation for deterrence is being shredded in the eyes of her enemies. All are positively salivating over this chaotic confrontation and the divisions it is causing among Jewish people worldwide.
The ancient Hebrew prophets – especially Ezekiel – warned the Israelites about “profaning” (bringing into disrepute) the Name of the God of Israel among the nations by their behaviour. Once again, we see this happening before our eyes, as this mess unfolds in the eyes of the whole world. But without a doubt, God and his reputation will not be mocked.
“As Israel seems set to implode, at least one general says the armies of the Muslim world stand ready to invade.”
So wrote Aviel Schneider for Israel Today on 21 March.
He added: “Unilateral judicial reform will throw Israel into chaos”, pointing out that the second and third readings of the new judicial reform laws were approaching.
“It can be assumed that the Supreme Court will reject the new legislation and the State of Israel will fall into a deep constitutional crisis from that moment. It’s a horror scenario that everyone in the country fears….
“Experts predict that there will be a split and dissolution within the army, police, Shin Bet and Mossad…The right-wing officers and soldiers will obey their government, while others will say they are following the rule of law as directed by the General Staff.”
“The Arab enemies will attack on five fronts”
Schneider quoted former General Yitzhak Brick predicting an attack when Israel appears unable to defend herself: “The Arab enemies will attack Israel on five fronts, including infantry troops that will breach Israel’s borders to the north, south and east, armed with rockets, anti-tank missiles and artillery from Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip. At the same time, serious unrest will erupt in the country with thousands of armed Jewish rioters, as will a third Intifada in Judea and Samaria. Under certain conditions, Iran can also take part in the last war.”
BID TO OUTLAW SHARING THE GOSPEL IN ISRAEL
Evangelicals were relieved to hear that PM Netanyahu had quoshed one of the regular attempts to introduce a law that would make anyone sharing the Gospel in Israel liable to prison.
WHY ISRAEL HASN’T SENT ARMS TO UKRAINE
The Iranian Mullahs believe a nuclear attack on Israel will usher in the Mahdi, the Islamic Messiah, and the entire world will surrender and become Islamic.
For this reason, says Dr Mike Evans of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, Israel has not sent weapons to Ukraine, as it knows that President Putin’s alliance with Iran will lead to Russia protecting Iran from any attack, as it has done in Syria, where it has been fighting for nearly 12 years to keep President Assad in power.
Writing in the February 2023 issue of his Friends of Zion magazine, Dr Evans said: “As Russia loses troops and massive amounts of weaponry in Ukraine, Iran is returning the favour by giving Russia thousands of drones, along with the support of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Crimea to train Russians in how to use them.”
Dr Evans also wrote: “Iran believes that Russia will guarantee the Islamic terrorist state a nuclear umbrella.”