Israel’s parliament has passed the first of several laws aimed toward a contentious judicial overhaul. The law passed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition would limit the ways a sitting prime minister can be declared unfit for office. The new law stipulates that a prime minister can only be deemed unfit to rule for health or mental reasons and that only he or his government can make that decision. It comes after the country’s Attorney General has faced growing calls by Netanyahu opponents to declare him unfit to rule over his corruption trial. The law will shield the Israeli leader and the critics say that the law is tailor-made to protect Netanyahu and encourages corruption.
Protesters opposing the new law staged another day of demonstrations against what they see as the country’s descent toward autocracy. The issue has split the nation between those who see the new policies as stripping Israel of its democratic ideals, and those who think the country has been overrun by a liberal judiciary. Nevertheless, the government’s plan has plunged the nation into one of its worst domestic crises.