‘Take action’ to stop the overhaul- Protesters confront President Herzog

It’s unknown what actions could theoretically be taken by Herzog to force a halt to the reform, and such moves would likely be illegal.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

A group of anti-judicial reform protesters demanded that President Isaac Herzog “take action” to stop ongoing legislation aimed at overhauling the country’s legal system, accusing him of “lending a hand” to the destruction of the country by remaining in his role as a neutral party.

Demonstrators gathered in the northern Israeli town of Zichron Ya’akov as Herzog visited a former military base in the area, creating loud disruptions and chanting “Democracy!”

Herzog, who was under heavy security at the event, eventually went to speak with the protesters. He asked them to understand that he is still trying to facilitate a compromise agreement between the coalition and opposition parties.

“I hold dialogue with everyone who is ready to hold dialogue to guarantee that our democracy remains strong and stable,” Herzog told the demonstrators, according to Hebrew-language news reports.

However, Herzog repeated his previous hint that some left-wing political parties had sabotaged the talks, saying that “there are some of you that did not give us a chance, and it’s a shame. There was pressure from some leading figures and others.”

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Several prominent anti-judicial reform figures have publicly called for the opposition parties to refuse to engage in negotiations with the government.

“How can you give a hand to a government that is so corrupt? If there’s no judicial system here, there will be anarchy,” one protester responded to Herzog, adding that “you must help protect the impartial judicial system.”

Another protester urged Herzog “to take action today,” though it’s unclear what that would look like, as Herzog’s role as president is largely ceremonial and politically neutral.

It’s unknown what actions could theoretically be taken by Herzog to force a halt to the reform, and such moves would likely be illegal.

The Supreme Court is gearing up to hold two hearings in September on recently passed judicial reform laws, the reasonability clause and the recusal law. Should the Court strike down or nullify those measures, which are both quasi-Constitutional Basic Laws, the move would likely trigger an unprecedented constitutional crisis in Israel.