US Urges Israeli Leaders to Find Compromise Amid Political Turmoil

US Urges Israeli Leaders to Find Compromise Amid Political Turmoil
Then-former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a rally in Jerusalem on April 6, 2022. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

The U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson expressed deep concern over the recent developments in Israel in the wake of protests following the firing of the country’s defense minister and proposed changes to its judicial system.

In a statement released by the White House on March 26, Watson encouraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to find a compromise in the face of the intense frustration on the part of the Israeli people.

“We continue to strongly urge Israeli leaders to find a compromise as soon as possible,” Watson said. “We believe that is the best path forward for Israel and all of its citizens.”

The spokesperson highlighted the importance of democratic values in the America-Israel relationship.

“As the president recently discussed with Prime Minister Netanyahu, democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

She emphasized the Biden administration’s support for checks and balances found in a Democratic system saying, “fundamental changes to a democratic system should be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support.”

Watson ended her statement by reiterating the United States’s backing for the nation saying, “U.S. support for Israel’s security and democracy remains ironclad.”

Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on March 26, amid further protests over a proposed change of the court system, a day after Gallant defied the administration and advocated for a temporary halt to compromise discussions.

At a critical juncture in the legislation’s approval, Gallant warned that the amendments posed “a clear, immediate, and tangible threat to the security of the state.”

A day earlier, Gallant was informed by 200 reservist pilots and 100 medics in the military reserves that they would refuse to serve if the government passed the reforms.

“At this time, for the sake of our country, I am willing to take any risk and pay any price,” Gallant said in his televised address.

Netanyahu’s administration is set to ratify a critical feature of the Supreme Court reform package—a plan that supporters, including Israel’s justice minister, argue is required to rein in activist justices and restore the appropriate balance between an elected government and the judiciary.

In the current system the judges of the Supreme Court, who have been chastised for their left-wing activity, select their own successors.

The top judge of the Supreme Court, Israel’s attorney general, and Israeli opposition leaders all reject the proposal.

According to them, the amendments risk encouraging corruption and reducing judicial independence, endangering Israeli democracy.

Melanie Sun contributed to this report.
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