(MENAFN) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a delay in the controversial judicial reforms that have drawn unprecedented opposition in the country. The move comes amidst a strike by the Histadrut umbrella group, which represents more than 700,000 workers in health, transit, banking, and other fields, threatening to paralyze large parts of Israel's already shaky economy. The strike added to the surging protests against the plan, leading the head of the country's largest trade union to call off the strike following Netanyahu's announcement.
The judicial reforms have faced mounting pressure from workers and weeks of growing protests on the streets, leading to a failed no-confidence motion filed by the country's political opposition parties on Monday. Despite this, Netanyahu's far-right religious-nationalist coalition government survived the motion. In a nationally televised address, Netanyahu said the delay would allow time to find a compromise with his political opponents, calling for "an attempt to achieve broad consensus."
The delay in the judicial reforms has been seen as an opportunity to create additional time and space for compromise, according to a U.S. State Department spokesman. The department has been calling for compromise and believes that it's the best path forward for Israel and all of its citizens. The spokesman declined to say whether the U.S. supports the proposed judicial reforms but emphasized that "fundamental changes to a democratic system should be pursued with the broadest possible base of support."
The delay in the judicial reforms and the strike by the Histadrut umbrella group highlight the growing opposition to the proposed changes and the potential impact they could have on Israel's democracy. The reforms have been criticized for undermining the independence of the judiciary and consolidating power in the hands of the government. The delay provides an opportunity for dialogue and compromise, but the situation remains tense, and the outcome is uncertain.
The protests, strike, and failed no-confidence motion illustrate the challenges facing Netanyahu's government and the deep divisions within Israeli society. The delay in the judicial reforms may provide a temporary respite, but the underlying issues remain unresolved, and the potential for further unrest remains. The situation is being closely monitored by the international community, with calls for compromise and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
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