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Israeli parliament approves controversial bill limiting ‘reasonableness standard’

The Israeli Knesset (parliament) approved a controversial bill on Monday as part of the government’s judicial overhaul plan.

The Knesset’s TV channel showed passage in the second and third reading of a bill to limit the “reasonableness standard,” which the opposition says would curtail the powers of the Supreme Court.

The contentious judicial overhaul plan, spearheaded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has triggered 29 weeks of mass protests.

The government says the package is meant to restore power to elected officials, but critics argue it is a power grab by Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption and was released from the hospital earlier in the day after an emergency heart procedure.

The judicial overhaul plan has divided Israel, facing unprecedented opposition from across society, including the military and the business sector.

On Monday evening, Netanyahu addressed Israelis after parliament passed the bill, local media reported.

He said the upcoming Knesset recess can serve as an opportunity to reengage in talks on consensual changes to the judiciary, the Times of Israel reported.

Netanyahu blamed the opposition for the failure to reach a compromise on the bill, the report said.

“Despite everything, my friends, we will continue to seek talks and agreements,” he added.

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