Israeli Opposition Accuses ‘Illegitimate’ Netanyahu of ‘Coup’ over Judicial Reforms

Leaders of the Israeli opposition accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being “illegitimate” and of carrying out a “coup” at a protest Saturday night by proposing reforms to the country’s activist judiciary.

As Breitbart News has reported, Netanyahu’s newly-installed right-wing coalition, which was elected last year, has proposed four reforms to limit the power of the judiciary relative to the other branches of government.

These four reforms include several that simply parallel the status quo in the American legal system, such as giving elected leaders the responsibility for selecting judges, rather than an “independent” judicial commission.

Left-wing political leaders addressed a rally of 80,000 supporters in Tel Aviv on Saturday night in what was billed as a rally for democracy, but which in fact sought to undermine the democratically-elected government.

Former defense minister and deputy prime minister Benny Gantz said: “We will continue to act against this regime’s coup.” Former prime minister Ehud Barak said the government was “legal” but “illegitimate.”

Israel’s left-leaning judiciary is particularly powerful, leading Israeli-born legal scholar Ran Hirschl to coin the term “juristocracy.” The increasing power of courts in many constitutional, democratic societies, he has argued, “is part of a broader process whereby political and economic elites, while they profess support for democracy and sustained development, attempt to insulate policymaking from the vicissitudes of democratic politics.”

Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, who disagrees with the proposed reforms, has argued that they do not threaten Israel’s “democracy,” though they could be seen as reducing the independence of the Israeli judiciary.

Conservative writer Caroline Glick has warned that the rhetoric of the Israeli left is pushing violence and “civil war.” She has also blamed the New Israel Fund, a left-wing American donor group, for funding the protests.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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