Israel: Knesset passes national budget, judicial reform back on the agenda

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Israel’s religious-nationalist governing coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was able to pass a two-year budget in the Knesset on Wednesday, clearing the way for renewed government efforts at introducing highly controversial judicial reforms, Reuters reports.

Along with many thousands of Israeli protesters, opposition party leaders have been in uproar over the government’s plans at overhauling the judiciary, a move they say will give politicians too much power and curb the courts’ ability to overturn legislatively passed laws. The government claims the overhaul is necessary to balance decades of overreach by unelected judges.

Party leaders have been in talks over reaching a compromise on judicial reform and, now that the budget has passed, the government can again prioritize this issue.

After seeing the 484 billion shekel ($131 billion) and 514 billion shekel 2023-2024 spending packages pass on Wednesday, following an all-night Knesset debate, Netanyahu told Israeli media: “This is the dawn of a new day; a good day for Israel’s citizens.”

When asked if judicial reform was back on the agenda, the PM said: “Certainly. But we are trying to reach understandings (in the compromise talks). I hope we will succeed in that.”

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