‘Truth is the exact opposite’: Netanyahu says protesters are wrong, judicial reforms will benefit Israel

The reforms “will restore Israel to the legal situation of most of the leading democracies in the world, where it had been for 50 years,” the prime minister said.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

At a press conference Wednesday evening, the Israeli leader said the government’s planned judicial reforms – an issue that brought tens of thousands of protesters to the streets on the last three Saturday nights – will strengthen democracy and benefit the economy.

The protesters have been saying that the reforms would destroy democracy in the country.

“The truth is the exact opposite,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated. “Not only will our moves to strengthen democracy in Israel not hurt the economy, they will strengthen it. They will restore Israel to the legal situation of most of the leading democracies in the world, where it had been for 50 years.”

The prime minister then reminded his listeners of what he had said 20 years ago, when he was finance minister.

“I said that it was necessary to go on a diet in the public sector, to lower taxes, to slim down, and in the private sector to remove impediments to investment and competition. And indeed, we reduced government expenditures, lowered taxes, privatized companies and increased competition.

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“Before that, we unshackled the currency and as a result, we received one of the strongest economies in the world and we raised the standard of living for all citizens of Israel. Our debt- to GDP ratio currently stands at less than 61%. This is unbelievable.

“Just two years ago, when we enacted the economic policy to get out of the coronavirus, they predicted that we would have a 73% debt to GDP ratio, and there were those who said it would be even higher,” he said.

“Therefore, over the years, many people were consistently wrong. But even then, 20 years ago, at the beginning of the major economic reforms that we led, I said and I foresaw, that there would be a very difficult struggle against the impediments of overregulation and superfluous legal processes, impediments that would make it difficult for us to fully realize our economic potential…

“I reiterate, the judicial reform is designed to restore Israel to the family of the world’s leading democracies. It will strengthen the rule of law; it will restore the balance between the authorities.

“We are committed to preserving the independence of the courts, which will be identical to what prevails in most democracies in the world. Nobody will harm intellectual property rights and the honoring of agreements, values which are sacred to us and which are the critical test. They are the critical test for investors over time and therefore, there is no reason for fearmongering.”

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Netanyahu also noted that this year, the World Bank ranked Israel in 85th place, compared to 75th last year.

“When the judicial reform passes,” he said, “and it will pass, through discussion and dialogue, I am convinced that everyone will see that rule of law is intact and has even been strengthened, that democracy remains intact and has even been strengthened, that our free economy remains intact and has even been strengthened…that intellectual property rights and agreement rights, as well as the honoring of agreements, will be stronger than ever.

“Therefore, whoever invests in Israel will only profit,” he concluded.