The leaders of the parties in the opposition on Thursday evening held a press conference in which they stated that they accept the compromise proposal for the judicial reform which was presented by President Isaac Herzog.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid said during the press conference that "the outline presented by the President is not perfect, it is not what we wanted, but it is a fair compromise that enables a shared life. We accept the President's outline because there will only be losers if a civil war were to break out. Because unlike the government, we have a national responsibility. What lies on the other side, what [Justice Minister Yariv] Levin and [MK Simcha] Rothman are leading to, is the end of the idea of a Jewish and democratic state."
"It took the government 17 minutes yesterday to announce that it was rejecting the plan. They didn't even bother to study it. In their own way, they told the President that he too can go to hell, along with everyone who wants Israel to remain a democratic country,'' Lapid claimed.
National Unity Party chairman MK Benny Gantz said at the press conference, "The President's outline turned on the light for a few minutes - and not a few moments passed until the door was slammed. I call from here on Netanyahu and all factions of the coalition to show leadership, to look at reality - and stop."
"I say to Netanyahu, this is not the dream outline of any side, but the alternative, in the context of the influence on Israel, inside and outside it, is difficult and destructive."
"Therefore, I think that everyone who is here is also ready to hold talks on the basis. Everyone here should also say out loud that they accept the President's outline as one piece, as an agreement that preserves democracy and preserves the people of Israel. This is not an ideal outline - but it is a realistic outline."
Gantz added, "We are facing tremendous security challenges, in a sensitive and tense time - terrorism is rampant in our streets, Iran is racing towards a nuclear threshold, and the entire world is being conducted in the shadow of the war in Ukraine. In the wake of these, we must unite the fronts, yet Netanyahu and his partners break them down into pieces."
"We, I - will always stand up when a security threat comes from an enemy - we must not get to a situation where our enemy recognizes a weakness in us," stressed the National Unity chairman.
The chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu Party, MK Avigdor Liberman, said at the press conference, "I want to thank President Isaac Herzog for the effort to bring a proposal that will serve as a basis for negotiations between all the factions in the Knesset. Unfortunately, we see that the coalition leaders rejected it outright."
"Today it is clear that the main engine behind all this crazy legislation, the most rigid, the most extreme element that is not ready for any compromise are the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. Their forceful and predatory behavior in the Knesset leads to damage to the State of Israel, the IDF and Judaism."
"Therefore, my conclusion is clear - if we don't separate religion from the state, we won't have a state," Liberman stated. "It is impossible to talk about sharing the burden, equality in the economy, equality for women and equality for minorities, when Shas and United Torah Judaism wheeler-dealers hold the coalition and the state by the throat."
The separation between religion and state and the sharing of the burden are the two most important issues for the future of the State of Israel, claimed Liberman. "If we don't separate between religion and state, we won't have a state. United Torah Judaism's insistence on the passage of the Override Clause is intended only for one thing, to ensure by law that young haredi people avoid the obligation to serve in the IDF or the civil service and the need to go to work."
"Shas is fighting for the Deri Law, and none of them are fighting for the State of Israel. This absurd situation, where our children and grandchildren serve in the IDF, go to the reserves, work and pay taxes, and in practice both protect and finance those who sit in the yeshiva, is simply unacceptable” Liberman stressed.
The chairwoman of the Labor Party, MK Merav Michaeli, charged, "On the one hand they are threatening a civil war and on the other hand they are pushing for such a war - inciting, lying, legislating unilaterally and rapaciously. Stop acting violently towards all of us."
"Netanyahu lied to the Chancellor of Germany today as well. He bragged about the rights of the gay community - and forgot to mention that the rights were granted by the Supreme Court," claimed Michaeli.
"The outline is far from perfect," Michaeli said of the President's proposal. "There are still cracks and gaps in it that could be misused, for legislation that would harm equality, that would harm democracy, and that there would be no one to protect against it. But we are ready to discuss the outline as a starting point that we will improve for an arrangement that guarantees our democracy. Until that happens - the protest will not stop."
"This crisis cannot end by going back to what the situation was before," Michaeli added. "This crisis must end with Israel as a Zionist, democratic and strengthened country. We will not stop fighting until it happens - and all of us, the entire Israeli public, will win."