Israel’s Supreme Court Defers Controversial Law Seen as Shielding Prime Minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: via PM of Israel Facebook Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday delayed the implementation of a law that would protect the prime minister from being forced to recuse himself, Israeli media reported.

According to the Israeli public broadcaster KAN, the Court ruled to postpone the amendment to the Basic Law related to the immunity of the prime minister.

The ruling comes following a petition filed by the independent, and non-partisan “Movement for Quality Government.” 

The Court said in a statement that the amendment would be postponed until the next term of the Israeli parliament, stating it was “clearly personal in nature” and therefore constituted a misuse of the Israeli parliament’s constituent authority.

The controversial norm had been approved on March 23, 2023, limiting the possibility of isolating the prime minister.

According to the law, known as ‘Incapacity Law’, only the prime minister himself or the Cabinet, by a two-thirds majority, can declare the prime minister “incapable of performing his duties”.

The Israeli opposition rejected the law, arguing that it was aimed at shielding Netanyahu, who faces charges of bribery, breach of trust, and fraud. 

It is not the first time that Israel’s supreme court has delayed or repelled a part of the controversial judicial reform pushed by the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu. 

On Monday, the court repealed the so-called ‘reasonableness standard law’.

The measure, passed in July last year, limited the Supreme Court’s oversight of government actions and curtailed its ability to veto decisions and appointments on the basis of “reasonability”.

Israel’s ruling coalition objected to Monday’s ruling. Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin said that it opposes the “spirit of unity” required in times of war.

The country’s opposition parties expressed support for the decision, with opposition leader Yair Lapid saying that the court has his full backing in “its role in protecting the citizens of Israel.”

(PC, Anadolu)

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