Israel: Compromise Talks Over PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Judicial Overhaul Have Failed, Says Leader Of Opposition Yair Lapid

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has been facilitating talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-led government and the Opposition in an effort to come to a compromise over the proposed judicial overhaul.

Israel's Leader of Opposition Yair Lapid

Hours after Israeli President Isaac Herzog said that a compromise is on the table, Leader of Opposition Yair Lapid announced that the talks with the government over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposed judicial overhaul have failed. 

For the past 24 hours, Herzog held a series of meetings with Netanyahu, Lapid, and other leaders in a last-ditch effort to strike a compromise over the proposed legislations that have polarised the country. The polarisation is such that even the famed Israeli military and security agencies, the most-respected institutions in Israel, are polarised and thousands of reservists have said they would not answer the call of duty if the bills are passed. 

Lapid termed the Netanyahu government, which depends on the support from far-right and religious parties, as the "most irresponsible" ever. He said there was no point in negotiating any more. 

What did Yair Lapid say?

Israel's Leader of Opposition Yair Lapid said that compromise talks have failed and that it's impossible to hold talks with the Netanyahu government. 

The Times of Israel (ToI) quoted Lapid as saying that the did everything to reach a compromise but the efforts failed. 

"In recent weeks, and especially in the past 48 hours, we did everything possible to reach agreements, as promised...Our main condition was to protect Israeli democracy, but with this government it is impossible to reach agreements that preserve Israeli democracy...They want to tear apart the state, tear apart democracy, tear apart the security of Israel, the unity of the people of Israel, and our international relations...There is no way to continue to work with them — because this is the most irresponsible government there has ever been here," said Lapid, as per ToI.

Last-ditch efforts for compromise 

For months, Israel has witnessed widespread protests amid unprecedented polarisation over Netanyahu's proposed laws that limit the Judiciary's power and grant powers to the Legislature to overrule court orders. Supports of the proposal say it's essential to remove the encroachment of the Judiciary into Executive's space and the critics say that it would remove safeguards and would pave way for authoritarianism and imposition of religious laws as religious parties in Netanyahu's far-right coalition are helming the proposed judicial overhaul. 

The President of Israel has been facilitating talks between the two sides for months. Since his return from a state visit to the United States, President Herzog has been holding talks with the Opposition and government leaders. Just around two hours back, he had said a compromise is on the table.

The New York Times reported, "President Isaac Herzog just said a compromise on the judicial overhaul was on the table, but that 'there are still gaps that require all parties to act responsibly'. Israelis are 'thirsty for hope' for an end to the crisis, which would require both sides to seek middle ground, he added.