The chairman of the Knesset Constitution and Law Committee, MK Simcha Rothman, believes that the judicial reforms he and Justice Minister Yariv Levin proposed has not been completely dropped from the government's agenda despite the ongoing negotiations to pass a different version of the reforms at the President's Residence.
"I believe that the reform is not finished, it will be implemented, and also that the coalition and its leaders do not plan to allow endless time wasting in negotiations that lead nowhere," Rothman said in an interview with Israel National News - Arutz Sheva.
When asked about the source of his confidence, Rothman said that, beyond his faith in G-d, he knows that "the problems that the reforms
are real problems that every coalition, and certainly this coalition, will encounter every day. I know that the majority of the public wants reform, with as wide an agreement as possible, and since the majority of the public is interested and the problems are real and require a solution, I estimate that there will be no escape and even those who do not want to promote [the judicial reforms] will be forced to promote the move. Reality is stronger than any theoretical argument."
When asked if he wishes the initial promotion of the judicial reforms had been carried out in a different or more moderate way, he replied: "Things can always be done better."
He accused the opposition of abusing the negotiations at the President's Residence to attack the coalition on issues which are unrelated to the judicial reforms. "Here they stopped and they moved on to attack the haredim, the property tax, etc. The excuse changes and they don't want to reach agreements. They want to overthrow the government and are not ready to accept the legitimacy of the public's choice. This is the reason why they encouraged the irresponsible and dangerous conduct of dragging the army and the bereaved families into this discourse."
Regarding National Unity party Benny Gantz's growing popularity, which seems to stem from his statements regarding his desire to reach agreements on the judicial reform issue, MK Rotman says that the public does give him credit, "but the public's condition is that there be something substantial behind these statements. There needs to be a willingness to make agreements and compromises. Right now we are seeing digging in and saying "No" to any solution. There is now no difference between Lapid and Gantz on this issue. Maybe in his heart Gantz would like it to be otherwise, but he may be afraid to make decisions. It is clear to me that if they really wanted to reach agreements, agreements could be reached in a short time. The differences are not large. The fact that there are no agreements now is the best proof that they are not interested in them."
Regarding the publication this week regarding a proposal submitted by the Prime Minister regarding the composition of the committee for the selection of judges without the knowledge of the Justice Minister, Rotman said that the best way to destroy and thwart the negotiations is to address every spin and rumor that comes out of the negotiation rooms.
"The positions are clear. The entire public, in an almost complete consensus, knows that there is no legitimacy for a court elected in this way with a veto for judges to overturn laws. This is already on the table in the president's proposal, the most extreme proposal in which it was also clear that the veto for judges must be abolished. These things are very clear: A change is needed in the selection of the judges and their powers, these two issues should be decided at the same time because the powers depend on the method of selection, and also on the reasonableness standard and the attorneys general all understand that there is no justification for the current situation, and if you want to solve the problem it is very easy to do it, but it seems that there are parties who are interested in ensuing that the negotiations are extended indefitnitely. This is not good for the country, the justice system and the coalition."
Rothman said that he is one of the people who believe that the negotiations are on their way to "blowing up."
"I wish I would be proven wrong and find out that the refusals to serve, which we opposed in real time, led the opposition to actually stop and think about the good of Israel and not only about how to burn the country because they lost the elections. I really hope that it won't happen, but right now it seems to be going in the direction I thought."
He said that should the talks collapse, the coalition would pick up where it left off in passing the judicial reforms.
"There were factors in the coalition who said it was right to stop and give them a chance to talk. We gave them a chance, but if they don't want to, then they don't have to. You can't force people to agree."