THE BIG NEWS
Israel Knesset to Vote on the First Step of Netanyahu's Judicial Power Grab Today as Thousands Protest the Move in Israel and Abroad
Tens of thousands marched from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem over the weekend to protest today's vote on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's judiciary overhaul plan, reports the New York Times, marking the 29th consecutive week of protest. Protesters are camping outside of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, hoping to dissuade the plan's adoption.
The proposed bill will bar the supreme court from using the legal standard of “reasonableness” to block decisions of the government. This doctrine has been used to stop the appointment of figures charged of serious crimes, like corruption and fraud, to high positions in the government. Negotiations between government and opposition leaders for a compromise went throughout the night and continued this morning even as voting on amendments to the bill are underway.
Critics fear that this is the first step in advancing the extremist right-wing government's larger goals--accelerating ongoing illegal settlement expansion in Palestine, imposing fundamentalist religious laws like segregation of genders on public transportation, and protecting Netanyahu and others from criminal charges.
Many segments of Israeli society and political class have pushed back against the bill, per Haaretz. Ten thousand military reservists have threatened to resign, including over 1,000 Air Force reservists. Israel's largest union is also pushed for a "compromise" to the deal, with a threat of general strike on the table, and 150 businesses have shuttered their operations in protest. Israel’s former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak spoke to a crowd of opposition protesters that the bill could be "the last nail in the coffin of Israeli democracy." And former chief of the Israeli national security agency, Shin Bet, warned crowds that the overhaul would lead Yitzhak Rabin's assassin to be released from prison.
All this while Netanyahu had a pacemaker implanted over the weekend, indicating that last week's dizziness wasn't just about the heat and dehydration. Installing a theocratic dictatorship to desperately cling to power--and avoid prosecution--must be hard on the heart.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Russian Attacks Damage World Heritage Site Cathedral
Since scrapping a deal to allow for Ukraine to export grain, which would have helped attenuate surges in food prices and global hunger, Russia has been bombing Ukraine's Black Sea port city Odesa, targeting its grain and oil terminals. A recent missile attack killed one Ukrainian, and injured over twenty, according to the Washington Post, as well as damaging a UNESCO World Heritage Site Cathedral, the Spaso-Preobrazhenskyi Cathedral, or Transfiguration Cathedral. A video taken after the strike shows parts of the cathedral in flames. The Transfiguration Cathedral had been rebuilt after Ukrainian independence in 1991, 55 years after it had been demolished by Stalin.
Bolsonaro's Power Has Evaporated in Brazil
A Sunday Politico piece takes a look at what our old pal Jair Bolsonaro has been doing after Brazil's highest electoral court ruled that he is ineligible to run for re-election lat month. The once feared "Trump of the Tropics" has become somewhat of a joke in Brazilian politics, with a former donor calling his diminished status a "blessing." A recent tax reform bill that Bolsonaro tried to rally opposition for passed 3-to-1, with two dozen of Jair's own party defecting. Bolsonaro is relying on donations and an online merch store to pay for his legal defense in multiple criminal cases. It may be too early to count him completely out, he did lose by a historically slim margin. Dare we hope that clown fascism goes down with a whimper?
- Spanish Right Fails to Win Predicted Majority in Election It looks like the left has the advantage in forming a government. via Reuters.
- Sam Bankman-Fried Planned to Buy Island Nation to Escape Apocalypse with 'Effective Altruist' Buddies SBF probably knew of the island nation, Nauru, because of its reputation for money laundering, one of his favorite things. via Quartz.
- Flash Floods in Afghanistan and Pakistan Kill Dozens The floods are the latest in compounding environmental, economic, and political hardship for Afghanistan. via AlJazeera.
- Infant Deaths in Texas Rise 11.5 percent After Six-week Abortion Ban These stats are likely to worsen as Dobbs cause further restrictions to reproductive health care. via Ars Technica.
- Wildire Causes Thousands to Flee Greece's Rhodes Island The flames have lasted for a week amid an extended heatwave. via AlJazeera.
- Arkansas Psychiastrist Accused of Imprisoning Patients, Medicaid Fraud Twenty-six former patients accuse Dr. Brian Hyatt of holding them against their will, sometimes for days or weeks. via NBC News.
- Twitter to Replace Bird Logo with "X" A good way to remind folks to click "x" to close their twitter tabs for good. It's hard to see how the re-brand will help recoup Twitter's (ehm X's?) 59% loss of ad revenue. via the New York Times.
That’s how much manufacturing jobs have grown since Biden took office, but there are signs this growth is slowing. via Axios.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
7/24: Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak to freelance David Neiwert to discuss his recent book The Age of Insurrection: The Radical Right's Assault on American Democracy.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
The strike, which could start by the end of the month, would be one of the largest in the nation's history.
Ron DeSantis is creating a safe space for White supremacist propaganda in Florida schools.
"Do not release the dog with his hands up!"
-- an Ohio state trooper instructing a K-9 officer who nonetheless released a dog onto Jadarrius Rose, a young Black man, who was stopped for a missing mud flap on his trailer. via NBC News.
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