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Former Israeli attorney general warns Israel is on 'brink of dictatorship'

'They’re protesting democracy,' says Knesset Law committee head of anti-judicial reform protestors

Avichai Mandelblit, former attorney general attends a Conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), in Tel Aviv, Dec. 28, 2022. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Former Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued a warning on Tuesday that the Jewish state was on the “brink of dictatorship.”

“We have turned into a country that is on the brink of dictatorship. This is how I define it,” Mandelblit said during an interview with Israel's Channel 12 news.

Mandelblit, appointed attorney general in 2016 by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has emerged as a vocal critic of the Israeli premier, especially his current coalition.

Mandelblit is concerned about the proposed legislation which could potentially give the coalition control over the Judicial Selection Committee, including appointing its members.

Critics have warned that such legislation would severely undermine an independent judiciary, which is particularly significant for Israel because it lacks a formal written constitution.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has made efforts to mediate a compromise between the coalition and the opposition. However, Mandelblit stated earlier that “collision is preferable to a bad compromise.”

“Israel will cease being a democracy,” he warned in March.

Proponents of the controversial judicial overhaul view things very differently. They believe such legal steps will strengthen rather than weaken Israeli democracy by limiting the power of the courts.

Knesset Member Simcha Rothman, head of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and one of the architects behind the government’s judicial overhaul, accused protesters of opposing democracy and the rule of law in Israeli society.

"Thousands of people are blocking the roads illegally, it doesn't matter that the law is moderate, it doesn't matter that we invested in the process a lot, it doesn't matter that 64 Knesset members voted it [through]. They’re not protesting the bill, they’re protesting democracy, they don't like the outcome of the elections," stated Rothman.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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