Exposing the Role of Settlers in Judicial Coup

2 August 2023

Photo credit: Stock Seedling

It has been clear since the last election in Israel that the West Bank settler movement was going to sit in the drivers’ seat of this government, including on issues related to the judicial coup. However, the full extent of the settlers’ influence in the coup was not known until now.

NIF grantees have exposed West Bank Jewish settlers as the motivating force behind Israel’s judicial overhaul. Some of the most influential people include Internal Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee Simcha Rothman, all of whom live in West Bank settlements.

But settler influence does not end there. Breaking the Silence published a map showing that over 20 of the 64 Knesset Members supporting the judicial coup live beyond the Green Line in West Bank settlements. “This revolution is a settler revolution,” writes Breaking the Silence, “Their aim is eternal conquest and annexation.” View the map here.

In response, some 50 activists from Standing Together (Omdim Beyachad-Naqif Ma’an) held a demonstration outside of the home of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in the West Bank settlement of Kedumim after the Knesset passed the amendment abolishing the judicial standard of reasonableness.

Standing Together’s national director Alon Lee-Green said, “The source of the judicial coup is the settler elite. [Their] aim is not only a matter of more power for the government, but maintaining the power of the settlements, annexing the territories, continuing to carry out pogroms in Palestinian villages, and normalizing Jewish supremacy. The coup was not intended to encourage equality, but to strengthen the power of the settler elite – Smotrich, Rothman, and Ben Gvir. Dozens of activists have come to demonstrate in front of the home of the real architect of the coup – Finance Minister Smotrich.”