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Israel: Former minister says democracy in state 'more fragile' than US

Former Israeli Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn
Former Israeli Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, 7 September 2019 [dr. avishai teicher/Wikipedia]

Former Israeli Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said on Friday that democracy in Israel is "more fragile" than in the US, despite the chaos in Washington last week, local media have reported. Nissenkorn resigned from his post in December.

"The protesters' attempt to take over the Capitol shows the extent to which democracy is a fragile thing," he told Israel's Channel 12 TV. "What we thought up until a few years ago — that it was set in stone — that's not how things are. In Israel the democracy is much younger and much more fragile than in the US."

When asked whether Israel would see similar scenes like those in Washington, he said: "We could see worse things [in Israel]. We could see a situation where the entire democratic system is undermined… That's much worse [than riots]. You can't fix deep-seated changes for years."

Nissenkorn pointed out that he experienced efforts to undermine democracy during his time in office. "[There was] an effort to change how the safekeepers of the democratic system are chosen, pressures on the attorney general, pressures on the Supreme Court, efforts to form an investigative committee against judges, calls to legislate the French Law [to protect the prime minister from prosecution]… We are in a situation where the entire system is being tested."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alleged the former justice minister, "Is corrupting the political system, without a doubt… It's not normal that in Israel the prosecutor in the Netanyahu cases has bodyguards, that [Attorney General Avichai] Mandelblit has bodyguards."

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