Netanyahu says government will ‘not be dissuaded’ from pursuing judicial shake-up

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Likud party faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, January 9, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Likud party faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, January 9, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Fervently backing his government’s major judicial reform plan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his government will not be deterred by protests from within the judicial system and opposition benches.

Speaking at his Likud party’s faction meeting in the Knesset, Netanyahu says his government is determined to pass its judicial reform agenda and is “not deterred by the protests.”

“Just like we haven’t been deterred by attacks from the left and media, we won’t be dissuaded this time,” Netanyahu says, accusing the media of “superficial” and “one-sided” coverage of the issue.

Responding to claims by opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz that the government hid its plans until after the election, Netanyahu says: “No one needs to be surprised… what we said before the election, we are doing and will do after the election.”

Netanyahu reaffirms his stance that the plan will reinstate a “correct balance” between the judiciary and the government. He also claims that increasing political control over the judiciary will put Israel more in line with other Western democracies, such as the United States, where politicians choose Supreme Court justices.

“The one standing on the offsides of democracy is actually Israel,” Netanyahu says, adding that “we are trying to align with all of the democracies in the world” through the reform package.

“We’ll do it for the benefit of all Israeli citizens,” the premier says.

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