As the negotiating teams from the Likud, Yesh Atid, and National Unity parties form and make their preparations to start discussions on the government's judicial reform package, several laws already in the pipeline are apparently continuing to progress through the Knesset legislative system, leading to opposition MKs claiming that Netanyahu's call for a halt to the process is a farce.
Basic Law: The Judiciary appeared on the Knesset's agenda on Monday evening, after being approved in the Constitution Committee earlier that day. It is now for the Knesset Secretariat to decide when to table the law for a vote, and the process is "absolutely standard - this is how the process always works," the Secretariat clarified. "Once legislation is passed by the relevant committee, it automatically moves forward to the Knesset plenum. The Secretariat then decides when to table the legislation."
Ignoring the explanation, opposition MKs hastened to condemn the government for what they called "lies and hypocrisy."
"As I warned, Netanyahu is lying once again," wrote MK Avigdor Liberman on Twitter. "Instead of heading to genuine negotiations conducted by the president, in order to unite the rifts in the nation, the coalition is spitting in the face of the public and is, even now, tabling the Basic Law: The Judiciary. The meaning is that at any moment, they could bring it to a vote and pass it in the plenum. They are holding a gun to our heads in the full sense of the words."
"The message is clear," said the organizers of the anti-judicial reform protests in a statement. "These will be fake negotiations in order to pass [laws leading to a] dictatorship at the start of the [next Knesset] session. Unlike what Netanyahu, Rothman, and Ben-Gvir think, the people who have been going out to the streets are not stupid. We won't allow dictatorial laws to pass, not the millions of citizens who have been protesting until today, and not the iron wall that is forming against them. The heads of the opposition and the president must know that the negotiations that they are leading are just political theater by the tyrant Netanyahu. We wil meet on Shabbat on Kaplan," for another protest, they concluded.