Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel minister tells US envoy to mind his own business

February 20, 2023 at 9:18 am

Newly-appointed US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides looks on during a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem, on December 2, 2021 [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel’s minister of diaspora and combating anti-Semitism yesterday slammed the US ambassador to Tel Aviv after the latter told CNN that the American administration is calls on the Netanyahu government to slow down the “judicial reforms” process.

Ambassador Thomas R. Nides had discussed the judicial reforms that the Israeli government intends to implement with the aim of undermining the Jewish state’s judicial system. Speaking to CNN’s Axe Files podcast, Nides said President Joe Biden will not remain silent about steps that contradict “the values that we share.”

Israeli Minister Amichai Chikli responded to Nides in an interview with Israel’s Kan Radio saying: ”To Ambassador Nides I say this pure and simple – Mind your own business. You’re not privy to discussions about judicial reform. We’d love to discuss foreign affairs with you if you wish. Respect our democracy.”

Chikli’s statements come amid growing US concerns about a series of legal amendments that the Netanyahu government intends to introduce to the judicial system, in what the Israeli opposition describes as a “judicial coup” that threatens the Israeli economy and security.

Ynet had reported on Friday that hundreds of senior Israeli military and security leaders from the police, Shin Bet (internal security) and Mossad (intelligence) sent a petition to Israeli President Isaac Herzog in which they warned about the dangers of the judicial reforms. The petition asked Herzog not to sign these laws if they are passed so that they won’t come into force.

READ: Israel Justice Minister threatens to resign over state of judiciary reform plan