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Palestinian rescue workers inspect a house after an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip.

The latest from Israel and Gaza

After three days of fighting between Israel and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip, there are no signs that the crisis is abating.

After Israeli forces took out a number of high-profile PIJ commanders in recent days, the group responded by firing more than 800 rockets at southern and central Israel. Many of those rockets have either been intercepted by missile defense systems, landed inside Gaza, or fallen in vacant areas inside Israel.

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Ian Explains: Why Israel's judiciary reform is so controversial | GZERO World

Ian Explains: Why Israel's judiciary reform is so controversial

Israel celebrated Memorial Day and its 75th birthday in late April. But now the country is looking ahead once more, and not liking what it sees, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

Israelis are split on the left and right over Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's far-right coalition and its push for a bill that would give the executive and legislature control of the judiciary.

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How Bibi could end Israel's democracy (or get ousted) | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

How Bibi could end Israel's democracy (or get ousted)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has a chilling warning about the future of Israeli democracy: The government's judicial overhaul plan puts the very foundations of Israeli democracy at risk.

In an interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, Barak explains that the reforms could erode the independence of the courts and weaken minority protections. Barak also accuses current PM Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu of hiding his true motives, describing his far-right coalition government as legal yet "illegitimate."

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Podcast: Why Netanyahu critic Ehud Barak calls Israel's government "clearly illegitimate"

Listen: As Israel grapples with political and social turmoil, the debate over judicial reform has become a crucial battleground for the country's future direction. In a conversation with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, they delve into the implications of Prime Minister Netanyahu's proposed reforms that would give the executive branch sweeping control over the composition of the Supreme Court and allow parliament to overturn court rulings with a simple majority. Despite Netanyahu's decision to postpone the vote on these controversial reforms, protests have continued to rage across the country — with big potential consequences for Israel's democratic system and social stability.

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Israel's judicial reform seeks to destroy democracy using its tools, says former PM | GZERO World

Israel's judicial reform could destroy democracy from within, says former PM Ehud Barak

For months, Israel has been embroiled in political turmoil over the government's plan to overhaul the judiciary. But how much of a risk are the reforms to Israeli democracy?

For former PM Ehud Barak, what current PM Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu and his far-right allies want to do will eliminate the last check on executive power in Israel. By that, he means the independence of the courts.

Barak tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World that a democracy like Israel should be capable of protecting itself from those who are using the tools the system offers "to destroy it from within."

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Why Netanyahu relented to protests, but Macron didn't | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Why Netanyahu relented to protests in Israel, but France's Macron didn't

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Why did Netanyahu end up backing down to protests in Israel, but not Macron in France?

Well, they are two different countries. But really, in Israel, they hadn't yet pushed the reform through. At this point, Netanyahu hasn't said he is given up on it. He said he's waiting for 30 days. Now, he might not be able to get it through, but still, it wasn't like it was passed and then he said, "Too much. Now, I've got to undo it." Where in the case of Macron, he had already gotten the vote in the upper house. He'd already forced it through, avoiding the lower house through a constitutional measure, which meant that essentially he had already gotten the agreement and then he was dealing with massive demonstrations. Which, by the way, the demonstrations themselves not super popular in France, even though the pension reform is strongly opposed, so I'm not surprised by that.

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Political turmoil in Israel | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Political turmoil in Israel

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

So much happening in the world right now. I think I want to focus in on Israel. Why? Well, because it is unprecedented in scale, the demonstrations, people's power taking to the streets, particularly in Tel Aviv. This is a population of less than 10 million in Israel, and hundreds of thousands are saying that they strongly oppose the efforts by Bibi Netanyahu and his coalition government to rest control of the judiciary, allowing the parliament to overturn judicial decisions from the Supreme Court and also allowing more control of executive appointments to Supreme Court justices. This is not just about opposition from the population at large. It's also been the Minister of Defense who publicly opposed the first cabinet official to do so, in part because large numbers of enlisted men and women are saying that they will not serve in the military if this judicial reform passes, unprecedented in a country where you have an enormous patriotism around mandatory national service that all Israeli men and women participate in.

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Demonstrators drape the national flag of Israel on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.


What We’re Watching: Bibi’s defiance, US strikes in Syria, Lula’s China visit, Putin’s Hungary refuge, India vs. free speech

Bibi’s not backing down

Israelis waited with bated breath on Thursday evening as news broke that PM Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu was preparing to brief the nation after another “day of disruption” saw protesters block roads and strike over the government’s proposed judicial reforms.

The trigger for the impromptu public address was a meeting between Bibi and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, also from the ruling Likud Party, who has voiced increasing concern that the looming judicial reform would threaten Israel’s national security, particularly as more and more army reservists are refusing to show up for training.

That never happened. While he talked about healing divisions, a defiant Netanyahu came out and said he will proceed to push through the reform, which, among other things, would give the government an automatic majority on appointing Supreme Court judges. This came just a day after the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, passed a bill blocking the attorney general from declaring Netanyahu unfit for office due to a conflict of interest over his ongoing legal woes and his bid to dilute the power of the judiciary. In response, the attorney general released a letter Friday saying Netanyahu's involvement in judicial reform is "illegal," suggesting a much-dreaded constitutional crisis may have begun.

Two things to look out for in the days ahead: First, what does Defense Minister Gallant do next? If he threatens to – or does – resign, it could set off subsequent defections and be a game changer. Second, how do the markets respond? Indeed, markets rallied Thursday before Bibi’s address in hopes that the government was set to backtrack on the reforms that are spooking investors, but the shekel value slumped after the speech.

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