Report: Levin in talks with Ra’am’s Abbas in bid to muster support for overhaul

Justice Minister Yariv Levin is engaged in ongoing talks with Ra’am chair Mansour Abbas to gain his support for the government’s judicial overhaul as a “safety net” if the ongoing negotiations at the president’s residence compromise a reform package. According to a report that came on Thursday evening.

While Likud, with a 64-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset, has insisted it could reintroduce the legislation if talks fail, some of the party’s lawmakers have stressed the need for a comprehensive agreement on the legislation. has stressed, and it is unclear if the coalition has the votes needed to pass the proposals in their original form if the talks fail.

Channel 12 News, in an unpublished report, said that Levin attempted to lure Rama with money and special favors in exchange for his support of the Arab community.

The Arab leader is mainly part of the opposition bloc, and has been the target of frequent and harsh attacks by Likud and, since joining the so-called transition government in 2021, regularly mentioned by the party and its supporters. “Terrorist supporters” and allies of the Muslim Brotherhood. But Abbas has always favored realpolitik and has repeatedly expressed openness to peculiar bedfellows if it can benefit his constituents.

And indeed, Channel 12 said Abbas has not ruled out cooperation with Likud – but is dissatisfied with the under-the-table talks, which said Levin’s offer to Raim had some unspecified influence on judicial appointments. Included. (It bears mentioning that the threat of judicial selection has become a matter for backroom dealings, a key rallying cry for the anti-overhaul protest movement.)

The approval this week by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, chaired by Levin, to set up a new hospital in the northern Arab city of Sakhnin was a gesture of goodwill towards Abbas, according to the report.

But the Raim leader demanded that any cooperation on the government give the Arab community meaningful tools to deal with rising violent crime, as well as that the party shut down its party’s own delegation.

The network noted that at this time there does not appear to be any progress between the parties.

Both sides denied the reports, with Rama insisting that it believed in “broad agreement” on any judicial reform.

Rama made history in 2021 when she became the first Arab party in decades to join a governing coalition. Abbas said he was first prompted by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu to join a coalition led by him, but after joining the government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, Likud repeatedly described Ram as a terrorist supporter. However, Netanyahu offered Rahim extensive concessions himself.

File: Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid (L), Yamina leader Naftali Bennett (C) and Ram leader Mansour Abbas sign a coalition agreement June 2, 2021. (courtesy ram)

Netanyahu halted the judicial law at the end of the last Knesset session a month ago, saying he was doing so to allow time for negotiations, amid nationwide protests by hundreds of thousands of Israelis, who said the law Will destroy Israel’s democracy by removing critical investigations. Power of the Executive.

President Isaac Herzog’s office said on Thursday that the first round of talks on the judicial overhaul has been completed, following a meeting between representatives of the coalition and the Yesh Atid and National Unity parties.

Protests against the overhaul have continued throughout the past month, while government supporters also held a massive rally in Jerusalem last week.

As it stands, the coalition has proposed bringing most judicial appointments under government control and curbing the oversight powers of high court justices.

Critics say the overhaul would dangerously erode Israel’s democratic character by giving the high court its power to act as a check and balance against parliament. Supporters say the law is needed to rein in what they see as an overly intrusive court system.

Analysts and commentators believe the coalition will not advance any legislation until the passage of the state budget, which the ruling bloc must do by May 29 or face automatic elections.

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