Recent weeks have seen some debate about whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is serious about passing some sort of “immunity law” that will prevent Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s draft indictment from proceeding to a full indictment. There isn’t likely to be much opposition from his potential coalition partners – the most liberal among them, Kulanu, was diminished to four Knesset seats and no longer appears interested in serving as the last line of defense for Israel’s democratic institutions – but Netanyahu still faces a potentially strong backlash from Israeli civil society, the country’s allies in the European Union, and an American Jewish community that will only feel more betrayed after his concessions to the ultra-Orthodox parties in coalition talks become fully known.

Monday’s news, first reported by Ha’aretz’s Chaim Levinson, that Netanyahu’s team is floating a bill that would allow for the Knesset to overturn administrative decisions by the High Court suggests the debate may have already reached a second stage in the Prime Minister’s Residence. They are apparently preparing for the High Court to invalidate an immunity law’s relevance to ongoing cases.

The danger this poses to Israel’s liberal democratic character within the Green Line can’t be overstated. An independent judiciary is arguably crucial for any democracy, but it has proven more essential in Israel. In a political system that, for various reasons, is not fully inclusive of 20% of the population, the courts are often the only sympathetic ear for minorities. Simple fear of the High Court’s intervention has snuffed out egregious proposals before they could be voted on in the Knesset. Besides, as Mordechai Kremnitzer, the former dean of the law faculty at Hebrew University, writes, “The rule of law is meaningless if there isn’t one law for everyone, and there’s no bigger contradiction to the rule of law than abusing it to legislate on a specific person’s case in order to enable government corruption to continue running rampant.”

Israel is not Turkey; thankfully, it is far from it. But last week’s annulment of the mayoral election in Istanbul on clearly nonsensical “procedural grounds” shows what eventually happens when a political leader, especially one with a passionate base of support, believes his continued rule is more important than all else. The self-serving demolition project may start with the judiciary, but following that no institution’s independence is naturally immune – be it the military, which has already come under attack from Likud activists over the years, the press, which Netanyahu allegedly sought to influence in a corrupt manner, or elections themselves. If you think this is an exaggeration from a perennial critic of the Israeli right, I would encourage you to read Ben-Dror Yemini’s latest commentary in YNet, aptly titled “Netanyahu’s Erdoğanization of Israel.”

To be sure, there are matters in which recent judicial intervention is unprecedented and rightly the subject of debate, especially in areas of policymaking the political scientist Ran Hirschl calls “mega-politics.” The meaning of “democratic and Jewish state” is one such controversy. But that’s not what this is about. If Netanyahu and Smotrich are successful in slipping this poison into the next coalition agreement, it will be a “reform” in service of transparent abuse of power.

There are several reasons why this still won’t happen, and Anshel Pfeffer listed several in his column this week. First, this may all just be an attempt to bully the Attorney General into delaying the official indictment. This will allow Netanyahu to form a coalition and begin governing without the immediate prospect of an indictment or an indictment hearing. He has already made some progress toward this goal by failing to pay his attorneys, who in turn have not retrieve evidence from the prosecutors’ office for review. Now Netanyahu is asking for a delay.

And though admittedly an unlikely scenario, Netanyahu does not necessarily have the support required within Likud to push an immunity law through. The Prime Minister’s conspiracies aside, Gideon Sa’ar does appear interested in becoming Likud chairman and has considerable support in Likud, including from ministers previously thought to be completely loyal to Netanyahu. Could this be the issue that finally foments a rebellion in the Likud ranks?

Another possibility is a unity government between Likud and Kachol Lavan, which in this case would be a euphemism for the opposition sacrificing itself to prevent a boorish coalition from undermining Israel’s democracy. It’s unclear if Netanyahu is even interested, given that immunity is an enticing alternative, but Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid should resist any attempt at manipulation. That seems to be their intent at the moment, at least judging from Gabi Ashkenazi’s strong maiden speech in the Knesset in which he pledged tooth-and-nail opposition, including street protests, from Kachol Lavan against any attempt to shield Netanyahu. Arguably, the prospect of an immunity law may discourage some of Kachol Lavan’s more right-wing (but anti-graft) members from taking Bibi’s bait and joining the coalition.

If Netanyahu’s quest for immunity is stopped, it will be thanks to voices in Israeli civil society, the political opposition, and in the Jewish diaspora that did not stay quiet during these dangerous times. The first two are already mobilizing. As for those of us concerned in the United States, the least we could do is not minimize the threat to Israel’s democracy or become distracted by sideshows.