Israel tensions ease as Netanyahu pauses judicial overhaul

March 31, 2023

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel’s rival political factions agreed to begin negotiations Tuesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paused a controversial judicial overhaul plan that had triggered unprecedented street protests and a spiraling domestic crisis. The announcement followed a spontaneous mass demonstration against his firing of his defense minister, who had spoken out against the judicial overhaul plan, and the sudden general strike. Israeli business leaders, academics and military reservists have complained the overhaul was pushing Israel toward authoritarianism. The overhaul would give Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges, and his allies the final say in appointing the nation’s judges. Netanyahu has argued that the overhaul is needed to rein in a liberal and overly interventionist court of unelected judges.