Dems to Bibi: ‘Difficult’ to defend Israel because of judicial reform

Netanyahu reportedly reassures Democrat lawmakers that compromise on judicial reform near, says that most controversial aspects of the legislation – such as the Override Clause – have been dropped.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

A group of Democratic lawmakers told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that proposed changes to Israel’s judicial system are damaging the left-wing party’s ability to defend Israel to their constituents, according to an Axios report.

In late April, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY) and other Democrat leaders met with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. During the visit, Democratic lawmakers reportedly warned the premier that the legislation is impacting Israel’s image in the eyes of American left-wing and liberal voters.

“They told Netanyahu it is very difficult for them to defend Israel under such circumstances, and their message was: help us help you,” a source, who was present at the meeting, told Axios.

“I can confirm that this very message was shared with Netanyahu by the delegation and, in particular, by each of the Jewish members at the table,” one of the Democratic lawmakers who attended the meeting told the outlet.

But the politician stressed that the meeting wasn’t all negative, as the lawmakers shared with Netanyahu an “equally warm sentiment on the occasion of Israel’s 75th anniversary and our unique and enduring friendship.”

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Netanyahu reportedly reassured the lawmakers by saying that a compromise regarding the judicial reform is on the horizon, and said that the controversial override clause – which would allow the Knesset to overrule Supreme Court decisions with an absolute majority of 61 MKs – has been dropped from the agenda.

Both Netanyahu and Jeffries’ office decline to comment on the Axios report.

President Joe Biden has been openly critical about potential changes to the legal system, sparking backlash from lawmakers opposed to U.S. meddling in Israeli internal politics.

The Biden administration is reportedly financially supporting and working in collaboration with organizers of the anti-judicial reform protests.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin confirmed that Israel’s Left is working with the current American government, though the Biden administration has repeatedly denied that claim.