Government in Israel votes to limit Supreme Court powers

Credit: Wallpaper Flare

JERUSALEM — Israeli lawmakers voted Monday to limit the Supreme Court’s ability to strike down government actions, delivering a long-sought goal of the country’s ascendant right-wing movement. The measure was pushed through despite months of civil unrest, international condemnations and pleas from business and security leaders to seek consensus in a deeply divided society on the verge of chaos.

Lawmakers methodically voted down 140 amendments, just as they had shouldered through more than 1,000 objections in a week of preliminary maneuvering and amid more than six months of nationwide protests.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — just hours after leaving the hospital where he had an emergency pacemaker implanted — sat calmly through the voting as shouts of derision rained around him, occasionally leaving for consultations. He took several phone calls, including from Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who was working feverishly to broker a last-minute compromise.