MK Simcha Rothman
MK Simcha RothmanErik Marmor/Flash90

What are the two sides of the judicial reform debate? According to MK Simcha Rothman, the chairman of the Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, many of those protesting against the government lack a fundamental understanding of how legislation is crafted and as such, their protests are not only misguided - they are actually counterproductive.

"Virtually every piece of legislation undergoes change as it goes through the various channels, from committee to Knesset plenum and back and forth again," Rothman explained, speaking on Reshet Bet on Thursday. "The government puts forward a thesis, the opposition presents an antithesis, and in the end a synthesis emerges. I don't even want to pass the legislation exactly as it was written in the precise language it appears in the draft. It will be changed and it should be changed.

"With regard to the outline presented by Friedman and Elbashan, they brought up important points that I hadn't considered and I am in favor of adopting them," he added.

Rothman stressed that instead of participating in the process, as is the task of a responsible opposition, MKs from the anti-government camp are boycotting the process, essentially choosing to bypass the democratic route and holding the entire country hostage with ongoing protests that severely disrupt daily life.

"When I started the legislative process I told the members of the Constitution Committee that we would begin without a text in place, in order to formulate the reforms together," he told Radio 103FM. "How did they respond? The opposition MKs sent me a letter insisting that I had to first present a text, otherwise they would boycott the discussions.

"So, what I did was very simple: I took several versions of previous bills, such as one requiring that all 15 of the justices on the Supreme Court bench be in agreement in order for them to disqualify a law passed by the Knesset. I suggested we set it all out and start from there. But the opposition is refusing to discuss anything. Over the past week, there have been zero discussions, because they are not willing to debate.

"Some of these are people who have, in the past, called for talks with Hamas," he noted, "but when it comes to Bibi [the Prime Minister], [Justice Minister Yariv] Levin, and Rothman, that's going too far.

"So, what's to be done? Should we halt the legislation because the opposition refuses to be our partner in the legislative process? We are moving forward with the legislation because this is what we promised our voters and because it is the right thing to do for the good of the entire country. There's no question about this. And the reforms will undergo changes in committee. That's important for the public to know. The public should know the real facts."