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Netanyahu claims 'Reasonableness' bill strengthens democracy, promises dialogue will continue with opposition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement to the nation after passing the Reasonableness Standard Bill, July 24, 2023. (Photo: Screenshot)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Israeli public on Monday following the dramatic passing of the controversial bill that has caused sharp divisions in Israeli society.

The prime minister defended the contentious Reasonableness Standard Bill, arguing that it restores the balance between Israel’s judiciary and legislative branches.

"Today we carried out a required democratic move. The move was aimed at restoring a degree of balance between the authorities, which was here for 50 years. We passed the amendment on the clause of reasonableness, so that the elected government could lead the policy in accordance with the decision of the majority of the country's citizens," stated Netanyahu.

The premier dismissed widespread concerns that the new bill would undermine Israeli democracy.

"Fulfilling the will of the voter is by no means "the end of democracy" – it is the essence of democracy. Because of the importance of the issue, the coalition worked in every way to reach agreements with the opposition." 

Netanyahu accused the opposition of rejecting any compromise. However, the premier vowed his coalition government would continue embracing dialogue with the opposition parties in the Knesset.

"Already in the coming days, the coalition will contact the opposition in order to hold a dialogue between us. We are ready to discuss everything immediately, and do it in the round of talks during the recess and reach a comprehensive agreement on everything, and if necessary we will add more time, until the end of November," the prime minister said.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has tried to mediate a compromise between the opposition and the coalition.

While several opposition leaders have accepted dialogue, opposition leader Yair Lapid has accused Netanyahu of negotiating in bad faith.

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

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