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Israel: Accountability law will enter into force at a later date

Israel: Accountability law will enter into force at a later date

The reason is that the law is clearly designed to suit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under the new law, a three-quarters majority is needed to remove the prime minister from office.

The change in law that makes it difficult to remove a prime minister from office in Israel is not scheduled to take effect until the next legislative session. This is what the Supreme Court in Jerusalem decided in a ruling published today, Wednesday. Six out of eleven judges supported this postponement. The reason given is that the law is clearly designed for a specific person.

Parliament therefore abused its power by approving the change in the law. It decided in March that a three-quarters majority would be needed to remove the prime minister from office. This change was particularly controversial because it was seen as tailored to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his needs. He is accused of wanting to protect himself from accountability. The corruption trial against the 74-year-old has been ongoing for a long time. The opposition condemned the new law, describing it as “inappropriate and corrupt.”

Only health problems are a basis for dismissal

Under the change in law, the prime minister can only be removed from office for mental or other health reasons. This was intended to prevent the Supreme Court or the Attorney General from exercising their influence.

On Monday, the Supreme Court effectively struck down a key element of Israel's judicial restructuring in a dramatic decision. The essence of the rejected change in law was to deny the Supreme Court the opportunity to take action against “inappropriate” decisions made by the government, the Prime Minister or individual ministers. Critics warned that this could encourage corruption and arbitrary appointment to important positions.

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“This decision is a good one, but it remains to be seen how the government will react,” says liberal left-wing Israeli historian Moshe Zimmerman. “We may now also introduce a law that would allow the Knesset to override all judicial decisions. There is no unthinkable harm with this government.” (APA)

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