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Chaos at Israel's parliament as Netanyahu pushes judicial overhaul

Ahead of the Knesset vote on the clause canceling the power of the Supreme Court to abolish unreasonable decisions or appointments, demonstrators are gathering outside and inside Israel's parliament.
A demonstrator from the "Pink Front" group lights a flare.

Israel’s parliament is expected to vote Monday night on a controversial amendment to the country’s Basic Law: The Judiciary, curtailing judicial review of decisions made by government officials. The law currently offers the Supreme Court the possibility to declare certain decisions by Cabinet officials as "unreasonable," something the new bill would scrap.

The proposed amendment states, "Whoever has judicial authority according to law, including the Supreme Court, will not judge or issue orders against the government, the prime minister, a Cabinet minister or another elected official as determined by law, regarding the reasonableness of their decision." 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who himself is facing charges of bribery, fraud and breach, and is on trial is supportive of the measure. 

But Netanyahu is not the only one pushing the legislation. Proponents of the judicial overhaul plan, limiting the responsibility of the judicial system in favor of the government, have galvanized in recent weeks for speedy adoption of this amendment. Head of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Simcha Rothman had the bill approved for its first reading after only five committee discussions held over nine days. 

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