About 400 reserve aircrew members of the IDF’s Air Force, who are at the forefront of the reservist protest against the government’s judicial reform, convened a meeting in the heart of the country on a Wednesday afternoon. The purpose of this gathering was to strategize in preparation for the government's upcoming actions regarding the controversial judicial reform. Notably, two influential figures graced the meeting with their presence: Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, the head of Merkaz Harav, and Tom Friedman, a prominent journalist from the New York Times. Additionally, Professor Shahar Lifshitz from Bar Ilan University provided a comprehensive legal and political analysis of the ongoing situation.

Rabbi Yaakov Shapira used the platform to articulate his support for the judicial reform. His perspective added depth to the discussion, highlighting the diverse viewpoints within the protest movement. On the other hand, Tom Friedman, an American journalist of international renown, offered his insights into the Israeli landscape, providing an external perspective on the situation. In his address, he delved into the intricate relationship between Israel and the United States, shedding light on how the proposed legislation might impact this crucial diplomatic alliance between Washington and Jerusalem.

A source with knowledge of the meeting revealed that the protest organizers exhibited unwavering determination and a commitment to avoiding unilateral decisions or what they referred to as "Netanyahu's exercises" conducted in silence. According to this source, the protest movement has drawn a clear line: if the Prime Minister attempts to push through legislation that lacks broad consensus, they will escalate their protest efforts, rallying more participants to join and making their stance against such legislation known.

These developments follow a meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Justice Minister Levin, during which they sought to advance a new and potentially unilateral framework for judicial reform. Multiple proposals were considered, including one that combines elements of a previous outline presented to Benny Gantz and the President's House. This proposal entails altering the required majority within the committee responsible for selecting judges, giving Minister Levin veto power within the existing committee.

Under the proposed changes, the selection of the Supreme Court president would require a vote of 7 out of 9 committee members, replacing the current seniority-based system. Furthermore, a similar majority would be necessary for appointing judges to lower courts. Consequently, Minister Levin would wield veto authority not only over the selection of Supreme Court judges, as is presently the case, but also over other judges chosen by the committee, including the Supreme Court president. This potential restructuring of the judiciary has intensified the ongoing debate and mobilized the protest movement to voice its concerns.

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