Following the news that Israel’s Supreme Court struck down the amendment to the “reasonableness clause,” the cornerstone of this far-right government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary and undermine basic checks and balances in Israel’s governing system, NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch released the following statement:
Yesterday we witnessed a major victory for everyone who cares about human rights, minority rights, and democracy in the State of Israel. The Supreme Court not only rejected the anti-democratic amendment to the “reasonableness clause” put forward by the current extremist government, but also affirmed, by a 12-3 vote, the Court’s power of judicial review of Israel’s quasi-constitutional Basic Laws—a powerful tool against future legislation to overhaul Israel’s constitutional system. With this decision, the Netanyahu government’s most recent and blatant attempt to eviscerate independence of the High Court of Justice may have ended—but the danger to Israel’s democracy remains, and Israeli civil society will remain vigilant.
We are tremendously proud of our grantees, especially the Association for Civil Rights in Israel whose petition — which represented 38 human and civil right organizations — the Court accepted in this critical ruling. Should the ruling coalition, distrusted by nearly 80% of Israelis, now attempt to foment a constitutional crisis by refusing to accept the Court’s decision, we know whose side we will be on: the vast majority of Israelis, the vast majority of American Jews, and Israeli democracy itself.