Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to overhaul the country's judicial system have put him at odds with his centrist and left-leaning coalition partners. To push through the changes, he has turned to the far-right, but doing so may come at a cost.
A key player in this equation is Itamar Ben-Gvir, a member of parliament from the far-right Jewish supremacist party Otzma Yehudit. Ben-Gvir has been vocal about his support for Netanyahu's proposed changes, which would give politicians greater power over appointments to Israel's judiciary.
But as political commentator Tal Schneider points out: "If Netanyahu loses Ben-Gvir, he loses his government and he has to pacify him." This puts considerable pressure on Netanyahu to cater to Ben-Gvir and other far-right elements within his coalition.
Netanyahu is no stranger to working with controversial figures in order to maintain power. But critics argue that caving into demands from far-right parties like Otzma Yehudit could have serious consequences for Israel's democracy.
The proposed reforms are seen by many as an attempt by Netanyahu and his allies to undermine the independence of Israel's courts and consolidate their own power. The plan calls for reducing the role of a committee made up mostly of judges in appointing new judges; instead giving politicians more control over these appointments.
Opponents say this would allow those in power - including potentially corrupt officials -to stack the courts with sympathetic judges who would be more likely rule in their favor. They also worry that it could lead to increased politicization of judicial decisions, further eroding public trust in what should be an impartial institution.
Despite these concerns, Netanyahu appears determined not only pass these reforms but also secure continued support from right-wing factions like Otzma Yehudit. The future of Israeli politics hangs precariously on whether or not he can do so.