Netanyahu: Fear-mongering Protesters Are Wrong, Judicial Reforms Will Protect Democracy

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed his government’s controversial judicial reform will strengthen Israel’s democracy and benefit the economy, countering claims made by more than 100,000 protesters that the changes will harm the country’s democracy.

“The truth is the exact opposite,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday evening. “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.”

He then repeated remarks he made two decades ago as Israel’s 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.

“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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and government members react after sworn in at the Israeli parliament during a new government sworn in discussion at the Israeli parliament on December 29, 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

He went on to say that at the time he predicted it 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.”

The judicial reform is “designed to restore Israel to the family of the world’s leading democracies,” Netanyahu said, adding that it would strengthen the rule of law by restoring 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 fear-mongering,” he said.

His remarks came a day after hundreds of workers in the tech sector held a strike in protest over the judicial reform, warning that the overhaul would damage the economy and deter foreign investors.

Netanyahu claimed that the reform would preserve the country’s “free economy” and strengthen intellectual property rights and agreement rights.

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

Mark Levin this week hosted American-Israeli legal expert Eugene Kontorovich on LevinTV, with the latter explaining the reforms would make Israel’s government more democratic by giving the legislature some power to check the absolute authority of the left-leaning Supreme Court.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.