Israel strips its Supreme Court of power

Israel's Knesset stripped the country's Supreme Court of key powers Monday in a 64-0 vote attended only by members of the country's governing right-wing coalition. Hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the streets over the weekend, hoping to prevent the passage of a law that would leave no check on government power–and chill ongoing efforts to complete Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trial on corruption charges.

According to polling released in February by the Israel Democracy Institute, only a minority of Israelis support the changes. The vast majority – 72% – want a compromise to be reached and, even then, 66% think the Supreme Court should have the power to strike down laws and 63% of Israelis think the current method of appointing judges should stay as it is.

Millions of Israelis oppose the bill, including dozens of business leaders. Even Netanyahu's own defense minister, Yoav Gallant, has called several times for delaying the overhaul in order to seek broad consensus. Netanyahu said he was dismissing Gallant earlier this year for criticizing the overhaul, but never went through with the firing.

Of all the things with a chance at ending our imperfect democracies, "an old man's naked self interest" is always a good bet.