Netanyahu's Government Relies on Far-Right Support for Judicial Overhaul

Netanyahu's Government Relies on Far-Right Support for Judicial Overhaul

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing pressure from the far-right in his coalition government over proposed changes to the country's judicial system. The overhaul plan, which aims to give politicians more control over appointments to senior judicial positions, has sparked controversy and drawn criticism from opposition parties and legal experts.

However, Netanyahu's reliance on support from the far-right means that he cannot afford to lose their backing for the reforms. In particular, Kahanist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir holds significant influence over the prime minister due to his position as a key member of Netanyahu's ruling coalition.

"If Netanyahu loses Ben-Gvir, he loses his government and he has to pacify him," said political analyst Yossi Verter.

Ben-Gvir is a controversial figure who has faced accusations of racism and incitement against Arabs. He is also a vocal proponent of settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are widely considered illegal under international law.

Critics argue that giving politicians more power over judicial appointments could undermine Israel's democracy by politicizing its legal system. They say it would enable partisan interests to interfere with court rulings and weaken checks and balances on government power.

Despite these concerns, Netanyahu appears determined to push ahead with the reforms. He has defended them as necessary for ensuring greater transparency and accountability in Israel's judiciary.

The debate over the proposed changes comes amid ongoing political instability in Israel following four inconclusive elections in two years. With no party able to secure a majority on its own, successive coalitions have relied on support from smaller parties - including those on both ends of the political spectrum - leading some analysts to suggest that they may be less stable than previous governments.

As pressure mounts on Netanyahu ahead of an expected vote later this year, many are watching closely to see whether he can hold onto support from his right-wing allies while also navigating broader challenges facing his government.