Merav Michaeli > Labour Friends of Israel

The Knesset last night passed the first reading of key elements of the Netanyahu government’s judicial reform package, despite widespread protests, polling showing strong public opposition, and calls by President Isaac Herzog for a delay and negotiations. The legislation was passed by 63-47. However some MKs, including the opposition Yisrael Beytenu party, boycotted the vote in protest. Opposition leader Yair Lapid said: “Coalition members — history will judge you for tonight. For the damage to democracy, for the damage to the economy, for the damage to security, [and] for you tearing apart the nation of Israel.” Labor leader Merav Michaeli (pictured) rejected calls for talks with the government, saying: “The time has come to … join the determined struggle of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens who are taking to the streets week after week to stop the coup with their bodies.” The government hopes to push the law through by the end of March. Read full story