Grapevine January 18, 2023: Saturday night live

Published date18 January 2023
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
In Friday's Yediot Aharonot, there was an exclusive interview with Herzog's predecessor, the usually media-shy Reuven Rivlin, a former Knesset Speaker, a lawyer by profession and a loyal Likudnik, who during his seven-year tenure as president, signed the appointment documents of scores of judges. Rivlin, who has a very healthy respect for the Law, said that the kind of reform that could endanger democracy required a referendum

Also among those calling for a referendum is Opposition leader Yair Lapid. Neither Herzog nor Rivlin knows where the sharp divisions in the nation will lead but sometimes Israelis have to be grateful to their enemies because unfortunately, what unites them is a war, the existential threat of which causes the nation to close ranks, regardless of ideological differences.

Yariv Levin: Changing the justice system, helping newspapers who criticize him make more money

■ IT IS somewhat ironic that Justice Minister Yariv Levin has inadvertently boosted the profits of the newspaper most critical of him. Full-page advertisements decrying the policy he wants to introduce have appeared in Ha'aretz, as well as in some other newspapers, and the thousands of people who responded may not necessarily understand exactly what's involved, nor do all those who support Levin's proposed reforms. There's a herd mentality on both sides, that may be even more dangerous than the autocratic rule that seems to be in store for Israel.

There is general agreement that some kind of reform is needed but that it should be the outcome of a national consensus, and should be far less drastic than what Levin has put on the table, which is being advanced by Religious Zionist MK Simcha Rothman who chairs the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. In Ethics of the Fathers, we are urged to build a fence around the Torah in order to protect it from destruction and misinterpretation. This kind of thinking applies no less to civil law than to religious law.

Danny Danon: Likud's responsible adult now defending Netanyahu

■ OF CURRENT Likud MKs, the media seems to regard Danny Danon, a former minister and Israel's immediate past permanent representative to the United Nations, as the responsible adult in the party. Danon, who is also a former contender for the Likud leadership and a former critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is careful not to criticize him these days, even though Netanyahu did not give him a ministerial portfolio.

Danon, who ranked 15th in the Likud primaries, expected to be appointed a minister and said so in various interviews. But he should have known that Netanyahu does not always take instant revenge against his opponents. Nonetheless, Danon defends Netanyahu in conversations with journalists and insists that Netanyahu will not be overruled by coalition partners and that he will always have the final say. Danon also points out that new legislation never ends up the way it started and so people who are worried about what Levin's reforms will entail can relax.

Carmella Menashe: A veteran reporter, unofficial ombudswoman, witnessing a changing of the guard

■ ONE OF Israel's most veteran military reporters, Carmella Menashe witnessed her 10th changing of the guard when she attended the ceremonies for outgoing and incoming Chiefs of Staff Aviv Kohavi and Herzi Halevi, this week. The first female broadcast reporter to be appointed a military correspondent in Israel, she has attended many more ceremonies for changing Defense Ministers.

Menashe is also an unofficial ombudswoman, who over the years has taken up countless cases of injustice meted out to soldiers by their comrades in arms or their commanders. Her...

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