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In ‘ABC News’ Interview, Netanyahu Dismisses Fears Over Israeli Democracy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that the new law was not as significant as critics claimed

Following the July 24 passage of the first component in the much-debated series of judicial reforms, Israeli Prime Minister and author Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that the new law was not as significant as critics claimed.

In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” with George Stephanopoulos, Netanyahu said: “It’s described as the end of Israeli democracy—I think that’s silly, and when the dust settles, everybody will see it.”

Netanyahu pushed back against critics, saying the new measure seeks to protect democracy.  “It would bring back Israeli democracy in line with what is common to all democracies” and rein in “the most activist judicial court on the planet,” said Netanyahu in an interview with Stephanopoulos.

Labeling the changes as “a minor correction,” he emphasized his goal of balance. “I want to bring the pendulum to the middle, I don’t want to bring the pendulum to the other side,” said Netanyahu.

The prime minister also challenged the perception that the judicial debate had disrupted Israeli-U.S. relations. He pointed out that he had followed White House requests to slow down, waiting seven months to institute changes. He also noted a recent invitation from U.S. President Joe Biden to visit the White House and called the two countries’ historic alliance “as strong as it’s ever been.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an interview at a conference organized by the TV channel 20 in Jerusalem on March 16, 2021. The Prime Minister insisted that the new law was not as significant as critics claimed. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES.

Netanyahu also discussed his health, saying that following surgery this past week to get a pacemaker, he felt “terrific.”

“Man of steel,” he joked, before correcting his words to “plastic … I think that’s what they put in there.”

According to Britannica, “In the summer of 2011, large street protests spread throughout Israel, decrying social and economic inequality and calling on the government to increase its support for transportation, education, child care, housing, and other public services.”

“The following year his coalition was threatened twice by disagreements with coalition partners over military draft exemptions for Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews. The third and final coalition crisis of 2012 led to early elections after the coalition met an impasse over an austerity budget,” said Britannica.

Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

Edited by Priscilla Jepchumba and Judy J. Rotich

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