Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday announced he has postponed efforts to reform the country’s judicial system.
The announcement, which Netanyahu made during a prime-time speech, came after a nationwide strike paralyzed the country. Netanyahu on Saturday fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant after he publicly criticized the proposed reforms.
Asaf Zamir, the Israeli consul general in New York, resigned in protest. Elad Strohmayer, the openly gay spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in D.C., on Monday in a tweet acknowledged the embassy will be closed “today until further notice and no consular services will be provided.” The embassy has since reopened. “Today (3/27), the Histadrut, Israel’s largest labor union, instructed all government employees to go on strike, including Israel’s diplomatic missions around the world,” tweeted Strohmayer.
The Associated Press notes the proposed reforms would “increase” the coalition government’s “control over judicial appointments and diminish the (Israeli) Supreme Court’s ability to strike down laws” the Knesset approves.