Former Israeli Leader Says Netanyahu Cabinet Consists of ‘Convicted Terrorists’
On Monday, Isreal’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would delay the vote on the country’s judiciary overhaul. This delay would push the vote to the end of April after parliament returns from its recess.
In an interview with NPR, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert shared his views on the situation and said Netanyahu’s cabinet is filled with “convicted terrorists.”
“As someone who looks presently from the outside, there is no way that I can acquiesce with the existence of a government whose primary ministers are convicted terrorists by the Israeli courts,” Olmert said.
However, among those in Netanyahu’s cabinet, Ben-Givir is the only minister who has been convicted as a terrorist by the Israeli courts.
Olmert served as Israel’s prime minister from 2006 to 2009. He said that Netanyahu must “get rid of his partners and change the political agenda in Israel.”
Netanyahu counters that he will pass the overhaul package through parliament “one way or another.”
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Olmert Is a Longtime Netanyahu Critic
This is not the first time Olmert has criticized Netanyahu. Last November, Olmert was found guilty of defamation over comments he made about Netanyahu the year prior.
The ongoing crisis stems from Netanyahu’s plan to weaken the judicial system’s independence.
This plan sparked protests that escalated to their highest peak on Sunday, when Netanyahu fired defense minister Yoav Gallant, for publicly opposing his plan to overhaul the courts.
“I declare loudly and publicly, for the sake of Israel’s security, for the sake of our sons and daughters — the legislative process should be stopped,” Gallant said in a televised speech Saturday night, just before he was fired Sunday evening.
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Israelis Turn Out in Droves to Protest Netanyahu’s Agenda
For nearly three months, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the plan. Netanyahu’s harshest critics say he is pushing the country toward a dictatorship.
The future for Israel is unclear, but Olmert says one thing is for certain, and it is not the news Netanyahu hopes to hear.
“This government is doomed to fall sooner or later,” Olmert said.
Over the coming months, negotiations between Netanyahu’s coalition government and the opposition will take place while being mediated by Israeli President Isaac Herzog. But progress on a way forward isn’t expected from these talks.