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Mandelblit: ‘Israel will cease being a democracy’ if judicial reforms approved

March 13, 2023 at 10:56 am

Avichai Mandelblit, Israel’s Attorney General in Jerusalem on 21 November 2019 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Former Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit warned on Saturday that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul becomes law, “Israel will cease beinga democracy.”

Mandelblit said, “I have no choice but to speak out” against Israeli government’s insistence on handing the coalition complete control of the selection of judges and making ministry legal advisers political appointees who can be fired by the ministers themselves.“

The judiciary’s independence must be preserved under any condition and this is critical — no political appointments,” Mandelblit said.

“More important is the independence of the attorney  general and the legal advisers in government ministries.”

READ: Ex-Israel PM Barak calls for civil disobedience to stop judicial reforms

Speaking to Channel 13, Mandelblit said he was a close confidant of Netanyahu, and it was the prime minister who appointed him to the top role, but he ended up filing a criminal indictment against him.

He added that Netanyahu’s planned judicial overhaul “harms the most basic foundations of the government system, those in whose spirit the State of Israel was founded.”

“Once there are political judges, this can’t be remedied.”