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Knesset UPSC NOTE

 What is Knesset?

  • The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel.

  • it's the single-chamber parliament that holds the supreme legislative power in the country

  • It's often referred to as the "Israeli parliament.“

  • It has the sole authority to create and enact laws for Israel.

  • It elects the President of Israel and approves the selection of the Prime Minister and cabinet.

  • It monitors the activities of the government and holds it accountable through committees and inquiries.

Israeli Supreme Court's decision to strike down a law passed by the Knesset

  • The Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a law passed by the Knesset last year that sought to limit the judiciary’s powers is a clear setback to the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which is fighting a brutal war in Gaza. 

  • The law, passed with 64-0 votes in the 120-member Parliament after an opposition boycott in July 2023, had scrapped the reasonability doctrine. 

  • A legal standard used by the country’s judges to assess government decisions and ministerial appointments

  • The legislation, which amended Israel’s Basic Laws, was part of a reform package by the right-religious government to strengthen the hands of the government over the judiciary

  • Despite street protests, the coalition government passed its first part in the Knesset. 

  • Government supporters claimed that the court had no powers to rule on a Basic Law, which it had not done in the past. 

  • The court, sitting with a full panel of 15 judges for the first time in its history, stated, 12 to 3, that it had the powers to rule over the Basic Laws; eight judges, against seven dissenters, ruled in favour of striking down the law that scrapped the reasonability standard.

What is doctrine enjoyed by Israeli Judiciary

  • The reasonability doctrine is not a unique standard employed by Israel’s courts. 

  • Judges in other liberal democracies such as Australia, Canada and the U.K. assess the reasonableness of government decisions. 

  • In Israel, a country with a single House of Parliament, a ceremonial President and with no written Constitution, the independence of the judiciary is critical to ensure that there are checks and balances in the system. 

  • Israel’s far-right government was trying to tip this balance in favour of the Knesset, which is dominated by right-wing, pro-settler and ultra-Orthodox parties. 

  • The Supreme Court has put the brakes on this overhaul plan, for now

  • The war of almost three months in Gaza, claiming at least 22,000 lives, has triggered a humanitarian tragedy.

  • Israel is far from meeting its declared objectives.

  • On the day of the court ruling, the Israeli military announced the drawing down of thousands of reservists from Gaza and sending them back to work to strengthen a shrinking economy. 

  • In a recent poll, 69% of Israelis want elections immediately after the war is over

  • Mr. Netanyahu had claimed unity when he declared war on Hamas, but as the war drags on, divisions have started resurfacing. 

  • Any attempt to press ahead with the judicial overhaul plan would only weaken his government further. 


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Knesset UPSC NOTE
Knesset UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
https://www.learnerz.in/2024/01/knesset-upsc-note.html
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