Supreme Court Ruling Adds to Questions Over Kind of State Israel Will Be


“Bibi is still their champion,” Mr. Avishai said.

Mr. Netanyahu has also made clear, as recently as a news conference on Saturday, that he does not intend to resign, even after the war and even as his Likud party sinks in the opinion polls. A Channel 13 poll said that elections now would secure Likud only 16 seats and, along with its current coalition parties, only 45 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, compared to 38 seats for Mr. Netanyahu’s rival Benny Gantz and 71 seats for opposition parties.

Ms. Scheindlin, the pollster, said Likud’s coordinated call for wartime unity after the court ruling was politically savvy, because even the party’s supporters did not care as much about the judicial overhaul as about other issues, including the outcome of the war. Mr. Segal, however, said that the ruling might help shore up Likud’s support, because many of the party’s voters would be angry about it.

Still, the call for unity and the charge that the court ruling hurts the war effort are “pretty cynical,” Ms. Scheindlin said, “since it was the judicial reform bill that actually ripped apart the country.”

Mr. Netanyahu said that “the court’s decision contradicts the people’s desire for unity, particularly at a time of war,” while Itamar Ben Gvir, the national security minister, said: “At a time when our soldiers are giving their lives for the people of Israel in Gaza every day, the judges of the high court decided to weaken their spirit.”

The subtext, Ms. Scheindlin said, is that “nothing we don’t like should happen until the war is over, and the war will never be over,” at least not for a very long time.

Natan Odenheimer contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

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