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This week, in response to mass demonstrations and a nascent general strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed legislative consideration of his right-wing coalition's judicial reform agenda. Both sides in the acrimonious battle over that plan say they are defending democracy, which is a misleading way to frame an issue that should be familiar to Americans.
The controversy, which Netanyahu said threatens to become "a civil war," is really about what sort of democracy Israel should be—in particular, how much power judges should have to override the will of the majority. While Netanyahu's allies are right that judicial review is a constraint on democracy, their opponents are right that unconstrained democracy is a recipe for tyranny.
The political chaos that has engulfed Israel goes well beyond a bitter battle over controversial plans to potentially defang the country’s judiciary and the mass protests the proposals have sparked.
The root cause sits at the volcanic core of the country. It is the reason why there have been five elections in less than four years, and why some argue there may be a sixth on the horizon.
Israel is bitterly - maybe even irreparably - divided. And that identity crisis is coming to a head. And at least for now, there does not seem to be any way to marry what are vastly - existentially - different visions of how the state should run into something workable
On Monday, after tens of thousands of people demonstrated outside the parliament building in Jerusalem, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced he would temporarily freeze the plan to overhaul the judiciary. In a prime-time televised speech, Israel’s longest-serving premier said he would begin setting up negotiating teams, a move he said would “avoid civil war”.
In a nutshell, the government plan would give Mr Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges (he denies the allegations) and his allies the final say in appointing the nation's judges. It would also give the parliament, which is currently controlled by his allies, the authority to overturn Supreme Court decisions with just a basic majority. It would limit the court's ability to review laws.
Critics say it would make it difficult to declare a prime minister unfit for office and is designed to protect Mr Netanyahu during his own legal proceedings.
Mr Netanyahu and his supporters say that is wrong, and that the changes will stop the courts’ encroaching and overreaching powers.
Israel is incredibly fractured at all levels but in simplistic terms right now on one side are the supporters of Mr Netanyahu and his coalition of far-right ultra-nationalist and religious parties. On the other side – at least at this juncture – is pretty much everyone else.
Some 10,000 reservists from throughout the IDF will no longer show up for service, they announced in a press conference on Saturday evening, according to N12.
These reservists are joining more than 1,000 Air Force reservists who made the same announcement in a letter on Friday.
"This is one of the most difficult evenings for the State of Israel, but it's also one of the most important in the state's history," said Brothers in Arms leader Eyal Neve. "We represent some 10,000 reservists who are telling the government, the defense minister and the prime minister the responsibility is on you! If you want us on your side as we've served under right and left wing governments, we are calling on you to stop the legislation."
Earlier this week, the IDF put out a statement saying that despite the reservists' protest, the army was still ready for war, but N12 reported on Saturday evening that IDF Chief of Staff said that if the reasonableness standard bill passes, the army's readiness will be significantly damaged within 48 hours. The IDF later denied this.
In light of the situation, Walla reported that Netanyahu and Halevi will meet on Sunday to discuss the issue.
Actually, this is going on here and in Europe too. For some reason authoritarian types are popping up in a lot of places and some people seem to actually welcome them.
According to pro-democracy institutions, authoritarianism was on the rise globally even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. But experts say the distraction of the crisis has allowed some leaders to indulge their dictatorial impulses without attracting much attention from the people they govern...www.pbs.org
Freedom in the World 2022 finds that autocracy is making gains against democracy and encouraging more leaders to abandon the democratic path to security and prosperity, with countries that suffered democratic declines over the past year outnumbering those that improved by more than two to one.freedomhouse.org
I find it interesting that in all 3 articles Searcher posted, authoritarianism is explicitly associated only with conservative or right leaning governments and movements. It's like the authors, being left wing authoritarians themselves are either completely blind to their own strangling of liberty, or perhaps complicit in it.
The capability of Hamas to coordinate terrorist attacks on Israeli towns without detection has raised concerns about technological blind spots for US intelligence officials, a senior US intelligence official told CNN.
How Israel was duped as Hamas planned devastating assault
Oct 9 (Reuters) - A careful campaign of deception ensured Israel was caught off guard when the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched its devastating attack, enabling a force using bulldozers, hang gliders and motorbikes to take on the Middle East's most powerful army.
Saturday's assault, the worst breach in Israel's defences since Arab armies waged war in 1973, followed two years of subterfuge by Hamas that involved keeping its military plans under wraps and convincing Israel it did not want a fight.
While Israel was led to believe it was containing a war-weary Hamas by providing economic incentives to Gazan workers, the group's fighters were being trained and drilled, often in plain sight, a source close to Hamas said.
This source provided many of the details for the account of the attack and its buildup that has been pieced together by Reuters. Three sources within Israel's security establishment, who like others asked not to be identified, also contributed to this account.