Israel passes sweeping bill to neuter its own Supreme Court

By Around the Web

(Image by Kurious from Pixabay)
(Image by Kurious from Pixabay)

By Jake Smith
Daily Caller News Foundation

Israeli lawmakers unanimously passed the first part of a sweeping judicial reform bill despite the Biden administration’s pleas not to, the Associated Press reported Monday.

The bill limits Israel’s Supreme Court’s ability to overrule parliamentary decisions and gives parliament the final call in selecting new judges, according to the AP. President Joe Biden had called on Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to delay votes on the bill, warning that many Americans are fearful of where Israel is headed and attempting to pass the bill without broad consensus would be “divisive,” Axios reported.

“Given the range of threats and challenges confronting Israel right now, it doesn’t make sense for Israeli leaders to rush this — the focus should be on pulling people together and finding consensus,” Biden said to Axios on Monday. “It looks like the current judicial reform proposal is becoming more divisive, not less.”

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Netanyahu has dismissed Biden’s requests to delay the vote and told him in a phone call last week that he was unconcerned about the bill’s ramifications, noting he wouldn’t promote other steps in judicial reform until October, according to Axios. He told Biden that he has tried to gather broad consensus for the bill but hasn’t been able to since parliamentary opposition suspended talks at the beginning of July, Axios reported.

Mass protests and civil unrest have consumed Israel since the bill was announced in January, the AP reported. Thousands of Israeli military reservists, including fighter pilots and special operation agents, said last week they would not report to duty if the bill was passed, according to Axios.

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The Pentagon is worried that the potential military crisis could weaken Israel’s defense and open it to conflict with Iran or Hezbollah. U.S. Forces in the region that closely coordinate with Israel’s Air Force could also be operationally weakened by the crisis, Axios reported.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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