US pressuring Netanyahu to ‘pump the brakes’ on judicial reforms

US ambassador says that judicial reforms could mean that Israel is less democratic, and insinuated the Biden administration won’t be able to defend the Jewish State in the international arena.

By World Israel News Staff

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said that the Biden administration is urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the ongoing efforts to reform Israel’s judicial system, marking an unusual public admission of interference with Israel’s domestic policies.

“We’re telling the prime minister — as I tell my kids — ‘pump the brakes, slow down, try to get a consensus, bring the parties together,’” Nides said during an interview on the Axe Files podcast, which is affiliated with CNN.

Nides denied that the U.S. is attempting to influence the exact wording of the bills, which would limit the powers of Israel’s Supreme Court and non-elected government legal advisors, but hinted that the Biden administration views the potential changes as making Israel less democratic.

“The one thing that binds our countries together is a sense of democracy and a sense of [the significance of] democratic institutions,” he said.

“That is how we defend Israel at the UN,” he added. “When we believe that those democratic institutions are under stress and strain we’re articulating [our opposition]. That’s what we’re doing now.”

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When the host of the podcast, former Obama advisor David Axelrod, asked Nides about the likelihood that the coalition would pause the legislative push and engage in negotiations with the opposition, he expressed optimism that lawmakers would take a step back.

“I think they have to,” Nides said. “The one thing that is getting the attention of the prime minister — as it should — is the economic impact this could have.”

Nides said that the “unbreakable bond” between the U.S. and Israel would continue, despite not seeing eye-to-eye regarding the judicial reforms.

“We’ll get through this period of time,” Nides said. “It’s going to be rough, but… you can have a great relationship with your ally, and when you disagree, you disagree.”