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U.S. Envoy Predicts Netanyahu Won’t Advance Entire Overhaul Due to ‘Dramatic’ Reaction

Opponents of the government's judicial overhaul plans protest outside Justice Minister Yariv Levin's home in Modiin, June 27, 2023. (Jonathan Shaul/Flash90)
Opponents of the government’s judicial overhaul plans protest outside Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s home in Modiin, June 27, 2023. (Jonathan Shaul/Flash90)

US Ambassador Tom Nides said Tuesday that he does not believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government will unilaterally advance the entirety of its legislative package to overhaul the judiciary.

“I do not believe we’re going to wake up and they’re going to do all of this legislation unilaterally… My hope is that they will not do everything unilaterally because I think the reaction here would be quite dramatic,” Nides said during a virtual event organized by the Jewish Democratic Council of America, referencing the magnitude of anti-overhaul protests of recent months.

Netanyahu’s coalition began unilaterally advancing a relatively small part of the overhaul package this week in legislation to restrict judicial review, but some critics fear that the government is merely seeking to break up its advancement of the plan, rather than all of it at once, recognizing that the blowback from the latter strategy would be much more fierce.

Nides went on to maintain that the overhaul “was never [Netanyahu’s] major objective [when he became] prime minister. His coalition partners have a different objective,” but the premier is more interested in combating Iran and securing a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the protest movement against the overhaul, Nides said it demonstrates that “democracy is alive and well in Israel,” and claimed that no one has been arrested and that there’s been no property damage.

Related Story: Hijacking the Narrative: Inside Israel’s Domestic Protests

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