US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides reiterates his headline-catching comments that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government should “pump the brakes,” in its push to overhaul the judiciary, but stresses he didn’t call for it to stop altogether.
“I didn’t say put the brakes on, I said pump the brakes… slow down,” he says, noting that this did not amount to a call for a complete halt. “I’m not involved in how Israelis pick their Supreme Court,” Nides tells the annual National Leadership Mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, held in Jerusalem.
“This is a vibrant, vibrant democracy,” Nides says. “What binds us together is this love of democracies, this love of institutions. This is what enables us to defend Israel in the UN, time and time again, which we will continue to do.”
“On occasion, we express some views… I said, you know, we believe in building some consensus,” he says, noting that President Isaac Herzog has made similar pleas.
Regarding Netanyahu, Nides said: “I don’t question his goals, or anyone in his coalition’s goals. They all want democracy; they all want the same thing.”