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Netanyahu dismisses international criticism of reforms, says he doesn’t ‘interfere in other democracies’

Premier says ‘everyone has an opinion on Israel’, ‘end of democracy talk is silly’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a Fox News interview with Mark Levin, July 30, 2023 (Photo: Screenshot)

During a Fox News interview with Mark Levin on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back against international criticism of Israel’s judicial reforms.

“I’ve been elected six times democratically for a total of 16 years, and in all those years I never commented on internal debates in other democracies,” Netanyahu told Levin. “I have chosen not to do that.”

Netanyahu also commented that some leaders share their opinions about Israel more than other countries.

“Everyone has an opinion on Israel. They don’t have an opinion on the riots in France or the debates that happen inside other countries.”

The prime minister said the United States was having its own debate over the Supreme Court, adding, “I really don’t care to comment on it.”

“We’ll make our own decisions. In democracies, sovereign states, sovereign democracies, the elected representatives of the people make the decisions and that’s how it’s going to be in Israel.”

Netanyahu also defended the judicial reforms, saying they are necessary to halt “judicial revolution by the most activist judicial court on the planet.”

He affirmed, once again, that despite having pushed forward the Reasonableness Standard Law unilaterally, he is still seeking consensus.

“I gave three months of negotiations, got nowhere with the opposition that is being held hostage by an extreme minority that organizes all these protests and demonstrations,” Netanyahu said. “And so, I decided to pass the Reasonableness Clause. But right now, having done that, I'm still trying to get a consensus because I think it's better for democracy. That's where we are, objectively.”

When Levin asked Netanyahu if he thought the ongoing protests in Israel are intended to topple the coalition government.

“The organizers of the demonstrations say so openly,” Netanyahu stated. “In fact, they began their efforts well before we established the government or put forward the judicial reform.”

“They don't want us in power, they want to be in power. Except they can't get it through elections, so they're trying to do it through massive disruptions, blocking roads, setting fires, blocking the airport, things like that.”

Netanyahu accused some in the protest movement of staging a form of military coup by using army reservists as a weapon.

“The other thing they're trying to do is basically assemble a cast of former generals who are telling the government: 'If you don't do what we say if you go ahead with legislation, then we're going to incite mass disobedience in the army,'” Netanyahu charged. “I tell you, the day that Israel's elected government succumbs to threats by former generals, that's the end of democracy.”

Netanyahu went on a U.S. media blitz last week, following the passing of the contentious Reasonableness Standard Law last Monday. The prime minister has not held any interviews with Israeli news media since resuming office in December 2022, however, he regularly appears in interviews with Western media.

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

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