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Crisis in Israel-Political or Spiritual?

1 January 1970

Israel’s new government, led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, comprises a coalition of several right-wing political parties. The main members of the coalition are Likud (headed by Netanyahu), the Religious Zionism party led by Bezalel Smotrich, and the Otzma Yehudit Party of Itamar Ben-Gvir. Smotrich has become Minister of Finance and has been given responsibility for Israel’s civil authority in Area C of the West Bank. Ben Gvir has become Minister of Security. Smotrich and Ben Gvir are widely branded as ‘ultra-nationalist’ and ‘extreme right’.nn n

“Ben Gvir has become Minister of Security”

nnnAmong the key clauses in the coalition agreement between Religious Zionism and Likud are a commitment to pass a law designed to reduce judicial checks on executive and legislative power, a vaguely- formulated commitment to annexing the West Bank to Israel, legalisation of dozens of unauthorised settlements, and the provision of large funds for road building and public transport in the West Bank.nn n

public transport in the West Bank

nPray for the peace of Jerusalem NIV Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. More nnIn mid-January, Minister of Justice Yariv Levin (Likud) announced reforms that will alter the existing relationship between the executive, legislature and judiciary. The planned reforms include measures that will significantly limit the power of the Israeli High Court. This reflects the view of many in Israel that the court—an unelected body of jurists—has, over recent decades, assumed too much power.nnKey aspects of the proposals will:nŸ allow the governing coalition to ‘override’ Supreme Court rulings by a simple majority of 61 votes in the 120- member Knesset; the overriding legislation could only be struck down by a unanimous ruling of all 15 justices;nŸ end the Supreme Court’s ability to revoke administrative decisions by the government on the grounds of