Knesset plenum
Knesset plenumHezki Baruch

A day before the Knesset is slated to vote on two key appointments to the powerful Judicial Selection Committee, the Coalition and Opposition remain unable to reach an agreement on the choice for a contentious position on the committee.

On Wednesday, the Knesset is scheduled to vote to select two lawmakers to represent the legislature on the Judicial Selection Committee, a nine-member panel which appoints judges to all of Israel’s civilian courts.

The committee includes three Supreme Court justices – one of which must be the chief justice – along with two representatives of the Israel Bar Association, two government ministers – including the Justice Minister – and two Knesset Members.

While the Knesset may appoint any two MKs to serve as its representatives on the committee, for the past thirty years, the Knesset has usually selected one MK from the Coalition and one from the Opposition.

The Coalition is expected to tap MK Yitzhak Kroizer (Otzma Yehudit), son of Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer, chief rabbi of the town of Mitzpeh Yericho and dean of the Haraayon Hayehudi Yeshiva, founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Yesh Atid is pushing for one of its MKs, Karine Elharrar, to receive the second spot on the committee, though the Coalition has refused to back her candidacy, with the National Unity party urging Yesh Atid to compromise and endorse another candidate from the Opposition.

The two sides have yet to reach an agreement on the selection of the second Knesset representative, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still undecided whether to push for two Coalition representatives, Channel 13 reported Tuesday morning.

Failure to reach a deal between the two sides for the appointment of an Opposition member to the committee could mark the end of negotiations on judicial reform – thus forcing Netanyahu to either bury the overhaul, or move ahead without Opposition support.

Yisrael Beytenu chief MK Avidgor Liberman predicted Tuesday that the two sides would reach a deal on the appointment, and that the agreement would pave the way for a compromise on the judicial reform.

One of the architects of the reform, MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party) slammed the Opposition in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Tuesday morning, and accused National Unity chairman Benny Gantz of hypocrisy.

Rothman noted that following the 2020 elections, Gantz ensured that the coalition deal included a clause that mandated that both of the Knesset’s representatives to the judicial selection committee would come from the Coalition.

"But now that we are the ones in the coalition, this is suddenly a disgrace and could lead to the breakdown of negotiations” on the judicial overhaul.

"The current Opposition is not willing to cooperate, and I see no reason to include a representative, especially not someone like Lapid, who encourages attacks on Coalition members."