The decision by the Israeli Supreme Court to reject legislative control over the judiciary ends for now the languishing effort by the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu to diminish the courts, which had already sparked nine months of protests that only ended when Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

The protests had deeply divided Israel, but the subsequent war united it, with even pilots and reservists who had vowed to ignore military exercises immediately showing up to fight before they were called.

If the court’s decision Monday ripped off this wartime poultice, displaying anew the cultural war at the heart of Israeli politics, Netanyahu and his government responded by appealing again to wartime unity to try to downplay their loss. It was another version of Netanyahu’s argument against just about every critic of his performance and his policies — that these are all subjects to be discussed "after the war.”