Israel’s contentious judicial reform is being pushed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin and members of the coalition’s right-wing nationalist parties. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has kept his distance, presumably on orders from the attorney general due to a conflict of interests related to his ongoing graft trial.
But a post that appeared on Netanyahu’s Twitter account in the predawn hours this morning suggested his heart might not be fully in judicial reform, at least not the way it’s being carried out.
Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrived overnight in Cyprus, and shortly after a tweet appeared reading:
“It’s a bit unpleasant, but every time I try to understand the legal positions of reform opponents I get the feeling that our entire legal system is a tower of speculation… The thing is that the arguments of reform supporters are actually a billion times worse.”
The tweet was quickly deleted and a spokesperson for the prime minister said it was the result of “human error by a dedicated employee.”
Even Israel’s dovish President Isaac Herzog agrees that Israel needs judicial reform. And it was actually on the agenda of the previous government headed by opposition leader Yair Lapid.
But there’s been a lot of criticism over the manner in which Netanyahu’s ministers, Levin in particular, are executing the changes, largely without consensus or even dialogue. Netanyahu himself has reportedly tried to temper Levin, for instance when he encouraged compromise during the vote on stripping the Supreme Court of the power to strike down Knesset decisions based on “reasonableness.”
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