JERUSALEM (VINnews) — During a meeting last week between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Netanyahu conveyed a message of reassurance to the US administration regarding the plans for judicial reform, according to a Channel 12 report.Join our WhatsApp group
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Netanyahu reportedly said at the meeting that “as far as I’m concerned, the legal reform will pass with broad consensus, it will not pass as it is presented now.”
This is the first indication that Netanyahu is seeking to mollify the huge public protests against the reforms by reaching compromises which could have broader support. This would also reduce the international pressure regarding the reforms and the possible economic implications for Israel.
Two former Bank of Israel governors, Karnit Flug and Jacob Frenkel, warned Sunday that the government’s plans for a sweeping overhaul of the country’s judiciary could negatively affect Israel’s credit rating, and “deal a severe blow to the economy and its citizens.”
Sullivan told Netanyahu about the administration’s concerns over the reform as it was presented to American officials. “The liberal-democratic public and we as an administration do not like the direction you are going in with regard to the legal reform. If there is a violation of democratic values, it will make it difficult for us to provide unwavering and unqualified support to Israel,” he said, according to the report.
The report added that Sullivan told Netanyahu that the US administration sees him as the responsible leader after he promised that he would lead the government “with both hands on the wheel”.
Sullivan’s warnings of US concerns are not apparently shared by the US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides. Channel 13 reported that Nides, who has met with Israeli officials regarding the judicial reforms, had said that “Israel’s internal moves are its business.”
In a recent Kan 11 News interview, Nides reiterated his views about Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s judicial reforms, stating that “I’m not here to involve ourselves in the judicial process of Israel. The Israeli people don’t want to be lectured by America.”
Nides added, “We have shared values. We’ll let the Israeli public articulate their support or their dismay. That’s up to them. It’s not up to the United States to be commenting on the judicial issues that they face.”