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Opinion None of their business: the debate on the reform of the judicial system is an internal Israeli debate and should remain so Israel today


How exactly does the legal reform in Israel relate to the national security of the USA? Or even to another of its core interests?

We should hope for the sake of all of us - supporters and opponents of reforming the judicial system - that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reject the highly unusual intervention of American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, in a distinctly internal Israeli matter.

The most gentle words that can be applied to this very unusual situation, not to mention the humiliating one - American intervention in an internal Israeli matter, which is not at all similar to issues such as "Iran", "the Palestinians" or "the settlements" - are: "It is none of your business".

This time we don't have to use the language of Menachem Begin from 1981, who made it clear to the American ambassador Sam Lewis that "Israel is not an entity of enslaved vassals or a banana republic of the USA". This happened then, following the American sanctions and protests over the Golan Law, which angered Begin ( Begin even published word for word the details of his reprimanding conversation with the ambassador at the time.) In 2023 it is enough to tell the Americans that this is a distinct internal matter for the State of Israel.

Abysmal difference

We may be reminded, perhaps with some justice, of Netanyahu's "intervention" from 2015, when he went to give a speech to Congress against the position of then US President Barack Obama, on the issue of the nuclear agreement with Iran. However, the difference is profound: that agreement directly touched on the possibility that Iran You will obtain a nuclear weapon to be directed against Israel, a matter that clearly concerns our national security.

Netanyahu and Blinken meeting, photo: E.P

The event this time is different: how exactly does the legal reform in Israel relate to the national security of the US? Or even to another core interest of its own? Why is it a concern? Even if the connection between the US and Israel is based not only on interests but also on democratic values, as pointed out by Lincoln , Israel, even with the reform, has not ceased to be a democracy.

The US should also understand this, unless one of the opponents of the reform has invited American intervention in the issue.

And in any case: this precedent, of "shared democratic values" as a basis for American intervention, is a dangerous precedent.

Today it's reform, tomorrow it's interference in harsh judgments by judges who send terrorists to prison, who according to the "shared democratic values" are generally fighters for freedom and democracy, and the day after tomorrow it's interference in religious or secular legislation in issues concerning ultra-Orthodox and secular relations in a country that does not conform to "shared democratic values" .

The debate on reforming the judicial system is an internal Israeli debate and should remain so.

This statement should be heard from the Prime Minister not only in private rooms, but also externally.

Minister Orit Struck rightly claimed yesterday that Israel does not need a lesson in democracy from the US. If she had been a little less polite, she would have pointed out that similar lessons are not given by the US to other countries in the Middle East, with which the US has a clear interest in relations, countries that actually need a lesson in a democracy.

Sometimes, despite the security and to a large extent economic dependence on the US, we need to know how to draw boundaries even in the face of the greatness of our friendship. The moment when Blinken intervened in the issue of legal reform was such a moment, and this without even referring to the body of the internal dispute within us.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-01-31

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