Netanyahu coalition tables judicial overhaul bill despite promise to stall

Move claimed to be merely a technicality implies there is no real intent to abandon the judicial reforms, opposition members say; 'No matter how much I warned - Netanyahu lied again' says MK Lieberman
Despite Prime Minister Netanyahu's announcement on Monday that he would stall his controversial legislation for a few months, coalition members on Tuesday morning tabled the bill to change the composition of the committee for the selection of judges for a final vote.
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The move by the coalition members sends a message to the right-wing parties that they have no intention to abandon the judicial reforms.
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ח"כיות מהאופוזיציה עם האזיקים האלקטרוניים לאחר הפלת החוק
ח"כיות מהאופוזיציה עם האזיקים האלקטרוניים לאחר הפלת החוק
Chaos at the Knesset plenum
(Photo: Knesset)
Although coalition members claimed this was an acceptable technical move, MKs opposing the reforms were quick to respond with backlash.
"The public hasn't even had a day to process the legislation's halt, and already the coalition is bringing the bill to a vote," said MK Naama Lazimi of the Labor party. "This is a negotiation process with a gun held to the head."
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נעמה לזימי  בועדת החוקה בכנסת
נעמה לזימי  בועדת החוקה בכנסת
Naama Lazimi
(Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
According to the Knesset rules, a bill must be tabled at least 24 hours before it goes up for a vote in the plenum. The opposition was concerned that if the negotiations would drag on, the coalition would be able to vote on the bill before the Knesset begins its recess next week.
"No matter how much I had warned - Netanyahu lied again," said Avigdor Lieberman, a former Netanyahu ally turned opponent and leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party. "Instead of conducting a true dialogue with the president and stitching together the rift in the Israeli nation, the coalition is spitting in the face of the public."
In his statement on Monday night, Netanyahu said he decided to suspend the second and third readings of the law in this session of the Knesset, "to give time to reach the same broad agreement on the legislation during the next Knesset."
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ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בפתח ישיבת הממשלה
ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בפתח ישיבת הממשלה
Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Mark Israel Salem)
He emphasized that this decision was made out of "national responsibility" and the "desire to prevent a rift in the nation."
While he insisted that there was a "need to bring about the necessary amendments in the judicial system," he reassured Israelis that the Knesset would "provide an opportunity to settle them with a broad consensus."
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