Herzog urges gov’t to pause judicial overhaul: Israel in a ‘very volatile moment’

President Isaac Herzog (C) attends the funeral of former Knesset speaker Shevach Weiss, at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on February 5, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
President Isaac Herzog (C) attends the funeral of former Knesset speaker Shevach Weiss, at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on February 5, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

President Isaac Herzog urges the opposing sides in the increasingly contentious debate over the government’s radical proposals to shake up the judiciary to take a breather.

“We are in a very volatile moment,” he says, during an event at his official residence. “I say this from a place of historical responsibility. I hear that people and public leaders are called names in public and compared to Nazis. People forget what the Holocaust is when they casually use the term ‘Nazi.'”

Herzog did not point to any specific examples, but the comments come days after former prime minister Ehud Barak shared an image comparing Herzog — who been urging dialogue in an effort to forge a compromise — to former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain and his appeasement of the Nazis.

He also denounces threats to murder Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after a prominent anti-government protester was arrested for appearing to justify the potential killing of the premier, saying this is the most terrible thing.

“The debate is heating up to dangerous places and I call from here on all those involved in the disagreement: Stop a moment, breathe,” Herzog says. “Stop the whole process for a moment, breathe deep, allow for dialogue because there is a huge majority of the nation that wants dialogue.”

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