Defense Minister Gallant calls for halt to judicial reform

Yoav Gallant   credit: Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson
Yoav Gallant credit: Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson

"The split in society has penetrated the IDF and this is a clear, immediate and concrete danger to the security of the state." Mass demonstrations continued around Israel.

This evening, Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant called for a halt to the legislation of the reform of the judicial system. This is after, on Thursday, Gallant was about to make an announcement but withdrew after a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The mission of my life is the security of Israel. I have risked my life dozens of time, and this time too I am prepared to take a risk and pay a price. The threats are great - Iran is close to military nuclear capability, the northern front is unquiet, Palestinian terror is growing," Gallant said. "In the past few weeks something has happened. I am concerned at what I hear in the field. I have never encountered such powerful anger and pain as I see now. The IDF has been damaged. The split in society has penetrated the IDF and this is a clear, immediate and concrete danger to the security of the state. I will not lend a hand to this." Gallant was referring to the phenomenon of reserve army personnel refusing to report for duty because of the legislation.

"I belong to Likud, I say this evening, change is required in the legal system, but substantial changes of national significance should be made through dialogue," Gallant said. "The victory of one side is a defeat for the country. We must lead a shared national process that will preserve the IDF’s strength. I have presented the security picture, and said that at this time the process should be halted in order to sit and talk.

"For the sake of the security of Israel, the legislative process must be stopped and the people of Israel must be allowed to celebrate Passover and Independence Day together and mourn together on Memorial Day. These are sacred days. The demonstrations must be stopped and a hand extended to discourse, and the refusal to serve must be brought to an end. Our duty is to return to dialogue; we are brothers."

Gallant was joined in his call for dialogue by Minister of Agriculture Avi Dichter and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Yuli Edelstein. "A majority of the nation wants change in the legal system and understands the need, but this must be done with patience, dialogue and broad discourse to reach broad consensus," Edelstein said. Others in the Likud party sharply condemned Gallant. Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi said, "The State of Israel is at a historic crossroads between democracy and dictatorship and its minister of defense chooses dictatorship and gives encouragement to refusal to serve and a military coup. The decision of the people is not to be annulled for a caress from the media and the elite. That is not democratic."

Leader of the Opposition Yair Lapid said, "Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant has taken a courageous and vital step for the security of the State of Israel. The coup is a sever blow to national security, and it is his task and his responsibility to stop the dangerous deterioration. This is a moment of truth. I call on the government: stop everything, don’t pass the change in the judicial selection committee and the Deri law, and come to hold dialogue in the President’s Residence."

The Business Forum of leaders of Israel’s largest companies and the Movement for Quality Government in Israel also issued statements in support of Gallant.

The leadership of the protest movement said in a statement, "We are not stupid, we have not come together for the sake of a temporary fudging and we will not fall asleep on watch. We demand complete withdrawal of the legislation. Until then, the campaign will only become stronger."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on an official visit to London and has yet to react publicly to Gallant's announcement.

The weekly demonstrations against the judicial reform continued this evening, with the numbers the highest since they began. The protest leadership claimed that 300,000 people took part in the rally in Tel Aviv. Tens of thousands also demonstrated in Jerusalem, Haifa, Hod Hasharon, Yavneh, Givatayim, Rishon LeZion and other cities. After the rally, protesters in Tel Aviv blocked the Ayalon Highway. Earlier today, hundreds of people demonstrated against the government outside Yoav Gallant’s home.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on March 25, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Yoav Gallant   credit: Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson
Yoav Gallant credit: Noam Moskowitz/Knesset Spokesperson
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018