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White House criticises lack of ‘consensus’ in Israel over judicial overhaul

July 25, 2023 at 2:43 pm

The White House is seen in Washington D.C., United States [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

The United States criticised Israel for failing to reach “consensus” over the far-right government’s judicial overhaul after the Israeli Knesset ratified the first part of the plan that curbs the Supreme Court’s ability to review government decisions.

“As a lifelong friend of Israel, President Biden has publicly and privately expressed his views that major changes in a democracy to be enduring must have as broad a consensus as possible. It is unfortunate that the vote today took place with the slimmest possible majority,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement yesterday.

“We understand talks are ongoing and likely to continue over the coming weeks and months to forge a broader compromise even with the Knesset in recess. The United States will continue to support the efforts of President Herzog and other Israeli leaders as they seek to build a broader consensus through political dialogue,” she added.

The White House was referencing the ‘reasonableness law’, which limits the Supreme Court’s power to overturn government decisions and appointments of ministers it deems ‘unreasonable’. The bill passed its second and third readings yesterday by a majority of 64 out of the 120 Knesset members, despite widespread local opposition and 29 weeks of protests.

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