In an interview for Israel’s “Face the Nation.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Margaret told Brennan that the response was overwhelming Controversial judicial reforms His government proposed an “internal issue that we have to address.”
“I think there is a broad consensus that we need to reform our justice system,” Netanyahu said. “There’s clearly a dramatic difference in the perspective of how, to what extent, and so on.”
Protests against the judicial reform, which critics have called undemocratic, have been taking place in Israel every Saturday since January 7, with thousands of Israelis taking to the streets. The proposed reforms include an “override clause” that would remove Israel’s lawmakers’ sole check — allowing a majority of the legislative body to pass a law and override any decision to strike it down.
US President Joe Biden said in March that he was “concerned” by Netanyahu’s actions and called on him to withdraw from the review.
But Netanyahu said on Sunday he was not concerned about damaging his relationship with Mr Biden. “I value the alliance with the United States. And I value my 40-plus-year friendship with President Biden,” Netanyahu said. “I don’t think anything like that will happen. But it’s an internal matter that we have to resolve.”
Nevertheless, Netanyahu announced in March that he would delay The judicial reform followed a backlash not only from the United States, but also from members of one of Israel’s largest labor unions, its army reserve forces. and his own Defense Minister
“As we speak, right now, my own party, Likud, and the alliance with the opposition parties, are speaking at the president’s house,” Netanyahu said Sunday. “It’s the fifth or sixth meeting now that they’re looking for that compromise, which I think is a sign of democracy. You don’t walk away from a problem, you try to solve it.”
Tens of thousands of Israelis joined the protests in their 16th week ahead of both Israel’s Independence Day and Memorial Day celebrations. A recent poll by the Israel Democracy Institute found that most Israelis oppose the override clause and believe the Supreme Court should have the power to overturn a law.
American Jews across the political spectrum condemned the reforms, including 4 top American Jewish organizations.
Members of the Netanyahu government have also come under criticism at home and abroad for their extreme views. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has identified himself as gay, and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gavir was banned from army service after leading the youth wing of a group designated as a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States.
This year, because of protests, families asked government ministers not to attend ceremonies at military cemeteries during the recognition of Israeli Remembrance Day. According to the Times of Israel, Minister Ben-Gavir plans to do so despite strong objections.
“I think they’ve changed a lot over time,” Netanyahu told Brennan. “And they say so themselves. But the important thing to understand is that they joined me, I didn’t join them.”
When asked about the appointment of May Golan to the post of consul general in New York, Netanyahu said, “Whoever I appoint, he will abide by. Strictly, strictly by the vision that I have supported all my life. And it is not supportive. Forma. It is lip service. No. I really believe that.”
Golan, a member of the Knesset who has been criticized for calling himself a “proud racist,” tweeted earlier this week that he was being considered for the post.
“It’s a really incredibly important post and I have to abide by who I nominate, and I didn’t,” Netanyahu said on Sunday. “And we will adhere to the mainstream positions that I support and I welcome the fact that the United States has a multiracial and pluralistic society, so does Israel.”
Several US lawmakers, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have announced plans to visit Israel in the near term.
DeSantis is considering a run for president, though Eight members Florida’s congressional delegation has already endorsed former President Donald Trump. Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, a controversial move supported by Netanyahu, who is closely allied with Trump.
Netanyahu, whose policies are closely allied with Trump, said he would “meet everyone” in US politics.
“Why not? I meet Republican governors and Democratic governors,” Netanyahu said. “I will meet with every American representative, governor, senator, member of Congress. And I think that’s my job. And I think that’s important to the bipartisan support of Israel in the United States.”