Biden calls on Netanyahu to delay controversial Israeli legal reform |  outside

Biden calls on Netanyahu to delay controversial Israeli legal reform | outside

US President Joe Biden has asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to delay his controversial law restricting an independent judiciary. He said this in a statement to the news site Axios. On Monday, the Israeli parliament will vote on the reform.

Thousands of Israeli reservists, including combat pilots and members of the IDF’s intelligence, cyber and special operations units, have said in recent days they would resign from their duties if the law was passed in the Knesset. They are supported by more than a hundred former heads of the Israeli security services.

Washington fears that the enemies of Israel’s ally, including Iran or the Hezbollah group, will take advantage of the divisions in Israel and launch provocations that could lead to instability. Moreover, the crisis of the Israeli armed forces could have negative consequences for the American forces with which Israel cooperates.

“The current legal reform proposal appears more divisive, not less,” Biden said in the statement. He added, “Given the array of threats and challenges Israel currently faces, it doesn’t make sense for Israeli leaders to rush things — the focus should be on bringing people together and building consensus.”

This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of opponents of reform once again took to the streets in Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to voice their discontent. Netanyahu, 73, was fitted with a pacemaker on Saturday night and was due to leave the hospital on Monday in time for the crucial vote.

months of protests

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Since Netanyahu’s government presented its proposal to overhaul the justice system in January, large-scale demonstrations against the plans have taken place almost every week. They include a motion that would deny Supreme Court justices the ability to rule on the “reasonableness” of the government’s decision. Parliament is also given more powers.

If the government’s plans go ahead, the Supreme Court will no longer be allowed to overturn decisions of the government, ministers and elected officials by calling them “unreasonable”. Critics fear the bill will lead to corruption and the arbitrary occupation of high office. For example, the government can appoint judges from now on. Now an independent commission continues to do so.

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