Amid massive protests, Israeli parliament approves ‘reasonableness’ law

The vote followed almost 30 hours of continuous floor debate that began on Sunday morning. During that period, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets, both for and against curbing judicial checks on political power.

Jerusalem: Israeli Parliament on Monday approved the contentious “reasonableness” law that prevents judicial checks on political power, after weeks of unprecedented protests that have crippled the country.

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The bill passed with 64 votes in favour and zero against it, with opposition boycotting the final vote on the bill in protest. It is the first major bill to pass in the government’s judicial overhaul.

Multiple last-minute attempts within the Knesset to amend the bill or to come to a broader procedural compromise with the opposition failed.

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A series of ideas for unilaterally softening the legislation, discussed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and key coalition leaders even as the Knesset was preparing to vote, also led nowhere.

The vote followed almost 30 hours of continuous floor debate that began on Sunday morning. During that period, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets, both for and against curbing judicial checks on political power, The Times of Israel newspaper reported.

According to the law’s text, courts are prohibited from exercising any scrutiny over the “reasonableness” of cabinet and minister decisions, including appointments and the choice to not exercise vested authorities, it said.

The protesters have been demanding that the government shelve its contentious judicial overhaul initiative that will curtail the power of the courts to oversee the executive and legislative branch’s decision.

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