Monday afternoon the Knesset passed into law a bill which has caused extensive civil unrest and the longest protest movement in Israel’s history. The bill – now law – in question will limit the Supreme Court’s ability to use the so-called “reasonableness standard,” a tool by which justices can veto legislative decisions. The vote occurred after a week of intense protests and marathon discussions in the Knesset.
Massive demonstrations followed the vote in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Numerous small incidents – during which both police and protesters were injured – showcased the feeling of extreme tension throughout the country.
Meanwhile, many IDF reservists notified their superiors after the vote that they were making good on the threat to cease volunteer service. Many are questioning the effect this will have on the army’s operational readiness; however, government sources said that the IDF is still fully able to meet any threat.
The Supreme Court will likely critique the government’s decision to curtail their power, which could launch a more direct power struggle between the executive and judiciary branches. In parallel, the prime minister extended an invitation to other Knesset parties to engage discussions; he stated a willingness to hold off further judicial reform until November in the case of ongoing negotiations.
Please pray for an immediate de-escalation of the situation and a return to bilateral negotiations on the judicial reform. Please pray for the rebuilding of mutual trust between Israelis. Lastly, please continue to pray for safety for both law enforcement and protesters.
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