Israel: Whose Constitution, Whose Democracy?

Joshua Leifer in the New York Review of Books:

Many opponents of Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul have called for Israel to finally draft a constitution, but any serious attempt will mean choosing between a democratic state and one that privileges Jewish citizens above all others.

On March 26 Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, announced that he was firing his defense minister, Yoav Gallant. The previous day, Gallant, a former navy commando, had demanded that Netanyahu halt the government’s plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary—a plan that threatens to dismantle as much as reshape it. The proposal, unveiled by the justice minister, Yariv Levin, in early January, would give the governing coalition control over the appointment of judges, limit the Supreme Court’s ability to annul legislation through judicial review, and enable Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to override decisions made by the court. Levin committed to passing each plank of the plan as a bill of its own in quick succession.

Since January opponents of Levin’s proposal to subordinate the judiciary to the Knesset have held demonstrations around the country every Saturday night.

More here.