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Letter: Vivian Bercovici: Netanyahu's judicial reforms are unravelling the unity of Israeli society

CAEF sent a letter to the Editor of National Post Re: Vivian Bercovici: Netanyahu's judicial reforms are unravelling the unity of Israeli society, July 20, 2023

Dear Editor;

Ms. Bercovici uses inflammatory language and distorts the reality behind both the proposed judicial reforms in Israel and the purpose behind the protests that have been cast as “anti-reform.” Ehud Barak, a former Prime Minister, has been recorded, and the video widely shared, expressing the view that he is organizing the protests to bring down the current elected right-wing government and replace it with himself, whom he deems the only man who can unite the Israelis. Such chutzpah! It is known he planned and organized the protest movement, which has foreign funding, even before Benjamin Netanyahu had organized his coalition government.

The reality of the reforms is explained succinctly in this tongue-in-cheek letter to the American Government. The words can as easily be applied to the Canadian government, though thankfully, Prime Minister Trudeau has been less interventionist in the domestic affairs of Canada’s strongest Middle East ally, though that has not always been the case.

To the American Government:

“We Israelis were shocked to find out that your judicial system does not have a ‘reasonableness’ clause, and that your judges, who are deemed to be the most enlightened people of the State, are not able to cancel governmental appointments and contracts between private citizens, based solely on what your judges feel to be unreasonable and with no basis in law.

We are very troubled by the fact that American judges do not appoint themselves to the Supreme Court, but rather are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate which frequently is ruled by the same party as the President; an appointment based solely on elected politicians in which judges have no veto.

We are alarmed to learn that your legal advisors are political appointments, are constrained to merely advise, and cannot overrule governmental decisions and deny the government representation in court.

We are horrified that there are topics in your country that are not subject to judicial control, and that not anyone can appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

In the event that you choose to be ruled by your judges, who are presumably the most ‘enlightened’ of all, may we suggest that you invite Aharon Barak to teach you how to institute a judicial revolution like he did in Israel. But in the case that you like your system and think that it is more democratic than ours, do NOT interfere with the changes that we are implementing to make our country more democratic and, more similar to your own.”


Andria Spindel, Executive Director

Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation


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