Even before the October 7 attacks, which could still redefine the shape and balance of the Middle East, 2023 was already one of the most important years in Israel's 75-year history.
Benjamin NetanyahuBeholden to far-right elements in his coalition and fleeing from pending court cases, he began pushing controversial reforms to the country's judiciary aimed at rebalancing legislative power in favor of the government.
In a country that has no written constitution and no upper house of parliament, the Supreme Court is seen as the only body that monitors executive power.
Over the course of months, the scale of protests against the government grew to the point that hundreds of thousands of people turned out on Saturday evenings across Israel in opposition to what they feared was a move toward dictatorship.
the Israeli The economy took a major hit, the shekel collapsed against the dollar, investment was postponed and foreign companies waited to see how things would go. Thousands of reserve soldiers and aircraft crew went on strike, endangering Israel's security.
Netanyahu and his government were not deterred from moving forward, passing the first major reform in July.
The Reasonableness Bill removed the Supreme Court's power to strike down government bills if they were deemed “unreasonable,” severely weakening the judiciary's power to scrutinize government policy.
Challenge in the courts was inevitable and so the Supreme Court was asked to rule on a case that had a direct bearing on its authority.
Such was the importance that it was the first time in the country's history that all 15 judges sat together on a single case.
For months, they quietly looked into a case with seismic potential, and now we've got a verdict. Having decided against the government, the Supreme Court set a mark: the judiciary has the final say.
If the government refuses to rule, key arms of the state such as the military and police may have to decide which rule of law to obey: the government or the courts?
Events since then October 7 It has completely changed Israel's mood and future, so much so that it is not clear how important this ruling is now and what the consequences will be.
But Netanyahu's popularity took a direct and severe hit as a result of controversial judicial reforms.
It has been further weakened, and many Israelis hold it responsible for not preventing Hamas attacks.
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If Netanyahu accepts the government, he will face a rebellion from within his coalition, and perhaps the resignation of the extreme right, and thus the collapse of the government.
All this while Israel remains at war and faces challenges from foreign adversaries on multiple fronts.
These opponents will watch the repercussions of this decision, hoping to benefit from a divided Israel.
However, the October 7 attacks have brought the bickering and bickering community back together in the cause of defeating Hamas and returning the hostages – and we will see if this unity can hold strong.