Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a delay to his far-right government’s controversial plans to overhaul the judiciary, following fierce opposition.
Netanyahu announced on Monday that he would postpone his signature judicial reforms until the next parliamentary session, citing the need for more time to negotiate a compromise with his political opponents.
Netanyahu gave a televised address on Monday evening, ten hours after he was originally scheduled to do so. He appeared exhausted and spoke in an unusually bland tone “unwilling to split the nation in two… When there is a chance that a fraternal conflict can be avoided through dialogue, I, as prime minister, will take a break for that dialogue.”
Before praising the government’s supporters, he added, “We have the ability to pass the legislation with a strong majority,” He stated, “No one will silence you,”
The decision to delay only delays the issue by a few weeks, and it is unclear whether the protests will cease.
In exchange for agreeing to the delay, the far-right Jewish Power party claimed the prime minister offered to establish a civil “national guard” causing concern about an armed group under the control of far-right politician Itamar Ben-Gvir.
Netanyahu has been compelled to rely on unruly, extremist coalition partners due to corruption allegations hovering over his head. “King Bibi” appears to be losing his touch, as he struggles to retain control inside and outside the Knesset. He was once renowned for his ability to navigate difficult situations.