Netanyahu: Curbing ‘reasonableness’ doctrine won’t end democracy, it will strengthen it

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a video statement on July 10, 2023. (Screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a video statement on July 10, 2023. (Screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Ahead of the vote on the coalition-backed “reasonableness” bill, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defends curbing the High Court’s ability to use the judicial standard in reviewing government decisions.

“The Sohlberg reasonableness [plan] isn’t the end of democracy, but will rather strengthen democracy,” he says in a video statement.

The proposal that Netanyahu is referring to, by Supreme Court Justice Noam Sohlberg, differs from the current legislation in that it would carve out specific areas the court could no longer scrutinize on grounds of reasonableness, while the bill being advanced by the coalition would institute a blanket ban.

“Even after the fix, the rights of the courts and Israeli citizens will not be harmed in any way,” Netanyahu insists. “The court will continue to inspect the legality of government decisions and appointments.”

“The government will be required to act with good faith, proportionality, fairness and equality,” he adds, saying the Sohlberg proposal shouldn’t be met with mass demonstrations and decisions by military reservists to stop serving.

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