The big question for the new Netanyahu government

Date: 03/01/2023 Time: 20:23

Pinhas Inbari μικρή By Pinhas Inbari

The new Netanyahu government has taken office, and the question is whether it will survive, or whether, like all its predecessors, it will not fulfill its days, perhaps faster than estimated.

In our opinion, the government will extend its days if it passes the High Court of Justice test in the Aryeh Deri case on Thursday. The chances that it will overcome the hurdle are not bad, because today’s High Court of Justice has changed the norms of the previous panels, and today it is reluctant to deal with political matters, and the justices take seriously the threats to the judicial system without the fighting spirit that characterized previous panels. While in the past the criteria for high court decisions were clear to everyone, and the system was conducted according to them, today the norms are not clear, the 11:0 decision surprised everyone, and confused the sustem, which encouraged Deri to challenge the High Court of Justice in its decision to become a double minister after he pledged to quit politics.

This reinforces the sense of defeatism of the legal system after the Attorney General decided to approve the law in the Knesset that changed a special Basic Law for Deri. Despite this, she will argue that the appointment of Deri as minister is unreasonable.
The hearing on Thursday is a test for the High Court of Justice no less than for Netanyahu and Deri, while we writing these lines, it was announced that the hearing on Thursday will be live, signaling that the High Court may want to correct the 11:0 impact.

If the High Court of Justice disqualifies Deri-Netanyahu, he will face a dilemma regarding the Overcoming Law. The Ultra-Orthodox want the law of overcoming here and now, and Bibi understands that a quick law will make him a captive of the ultra-Orthodox and the religious forever, and this will close the door to expanding the government with Gantz. According to my sources, there are negotiations with Gantz on the formulation of a sensible overcoming clause for 70 or more votes, this will make it possible for Gantz to join, and perhaps persuade Saar to come as well, which does not seem feasible.

If High Court blocks Deri, Netanyahu will not necessarily oppose it, because he is already prime minister, and Deri is on his side in preparation for another round of elections, accusing High Court of torpedoing the government, and proving the justification of the demand for reforms and giving Gantz another chance to join him after the elections.

After passing the High Court test, if he passes, Netanyahu will have to face the challenge of Ben Gvir and Smotritch. The two are very ambitious. Smotritch does not believe Netanyahu’s word and is currently a problem for Israel-US relations. The problem with Ben Gvir is that he is connected to the temple groups, and he will make the Temple Mount one of the main subjects of his activity. At this point, he did not spoil Netanyahu’s trip to the Emirates, but he cannot give up the Temple Mount. A major part of the support for it comes from temple circles.

Pinhas Inbari is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and Al Hamishmar newspaper, and currently serves as an analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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