Defense Minister Gallant calls to halt judicial reform legislation

“The branches need a new balance, which will strengthen public faith. But such sweeping changes cannot occur without dialogue.”

By World Israel News Staff

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Saturday night made a dramatic televised appeal calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the judicial reform, warning that the rift in the country has caused “immediate and tangible danger” to Israel’s security.

Gallant acknowledged that changes to the judiciary were needed, but that they should happen through dialogue.

“The branches need a new balance, which will strengthen public faith. But such sweeping changes cannot occur without dialogue.”

“I have never encountered the intensity of anger and pain as I have seen now. The rift within the nation has penetrated deep into the IDF and the defense establishment – this is a immediate and tangible danger to the security of Israel,” he said.

He also called on the opposition to put an immediate end to the IDF reservist protests.

Likud MKs Yuli Edelstein and David Bitan backed Gallant’s call to halt the legislation.

Edelstein, who chairs the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, thanked Gallant for “joining the path I’ve been leading for weeks.”

“The majority of the people want and understand the need for changes in the judiciary, but this must be done with patience, dialogue and widespread negotiations in order to reach a wide consensus,” he said in a statement.

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Bitan tweeted: “I back the words of my friend the defense minister.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid hailed Gallant’s “brave and critical step.”

“The coup seriously harms national security and it is his role and responsibility to stop the dangerous escalation,” Lapid said.

“Stop everything, do not pass the change in the committee for the appointment of judges and the Deri law this week, and come and hold talks at the president’s residence,” he added.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to fire Gallant.

“I call on the prime minister to fire Gallant, who came in with the votes of the right, but surrendered to the pressure of those who refused orders [to serve in the military], and tries to put a stop to the important reform,” Ben Gvir said.

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi expressed remorse that “our defense minister gave in to pressure from the left.”

He added that “we won’t cancel the people’s vote to satisfy the elite and the media.”