Gov't backtracks on law allowing PM, defense minister to declare war

The law states that the two could declare war under extreme circumstances in which urgency is necessary and there is not enough time to convene the legal quorum for a Security Cabinet meeting.

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May 23, 2018 23:12
1 minute read.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R)

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R). (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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The government decided to reverse a law passed last month that allowed the prime minister and defense minister to declare war without consulting with the cabinet, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s spokesman confirmed Wednesday night.

The law states that the two ministers can do so under extreme circumstances in which urgency is necessary and there is not enough time to convene the legal quorum for a Security Cabinet meeting.

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Following public criticism, Shaked and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to revert to the previous draft of the bill, which states that the Security Cabinet can declare war, rather than the full cabinet, which was necessary before that law was passed last month.

The newest version of the law will have to pass three votes in the Knesset.

The purpose of the law was to allow the vote to make the process more efficient and avoid leaks.


Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay praised Wednesday’s decision, saying the version giving the prime minister and defense minister increased power “should not have been in our law books.

“As I said, it cannot be that Netanyahu and a man that he himself said is not fit to even be a military analyst” – meaning, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman – “should decide on their own whether to go to war,” Gabbay said.

Yesh Atid faction chairman Ofer Shelah, who fought against the final version of the law, said “this victory proves that if you fight for what is right, you can win. This stinky trick was a security, moral and constitutional danger. Tonight, those with a conscience defeated it.”

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