Yesterday evening, three months of public pressure from Israelis and diaspora Jewry across the world forced Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to announce his governing coalition would ‘pause’ their anti-democratic judicial overhaul plan that would consolidate power over Israel’s judiciary under their control.
The announcement followed a nationwide general strike by Israel’s public sector, schools, universities, banks, and even McDonald’s restaurants.
In response to the government’s pause on legislation, Joe Roberts, Board Chair of JSpaceCanada, issued the following statement:
“Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ‘pause’ on his anti-democratic judicial overhaul is not a shelving of the legislation that has embroiled Israel for the last 12 weeks. JSpaceCanada remains extremely concerned about the danger posed to the democratic nature of Israel by this legislation.
“Israelis have made their will heard, with over a million people taking to the streets in protest over the overhaul of their government by a majoritarian coalition including dangerous extremists.
“Jewish Canadians and Israelis are unified in opposition to the proposed overhaul of the judiciary, with 74% of Jewish Canadians and 66% of Israelis opposing measures to weaken the authority of the courts. This is especially important in a country without a formal constitution protecting the rights of minorities and in the absence of the formal balance of powers enjoyed by Canadians.
“Canadian Jews care deeply about Israel and the future of its democracy. We are hopeful that efforts made by Israel’s President Isaac Herzog will yield a positive result that leads to a formal constitution for the Jewish State. Jewish Canadians however, remain deeply concerned that democracy hangs in the balance.
“Canada is the sole major community in world Jewry yet to publicly oppose ‘judicial reform’. We urge Canadian Jewish institutions to join the nearly unanimous voices around the world voicing their deep concerns for the future of the state of the Jewish people.