Israeli Attorney General Warns Netanyahu of Judiciary Reform Comments

Israeli Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has ruled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s involvement in the government’s controversial reform proposals illegal and warned of possible legal ramifications.


Baharav-Miara had banned Netanyahu from direct involvement in the reforms in early February because Netanyahu, currently accused of corruption, could benefit from overhauling the country’s judiciary.

In a letter published by Israeli media on Friday, she writes that his recent comments about the reforms go against the agreements. “Your statement last night and additional actions violate the accords and are completely illegal. Furthermore, they can lead to a conflict of interest,” she wrote.

Netanyahu said in a Thursday evening speech that he intends to be heavily involved in drafting judicial reforms. So far, Justice Minister Jariv Levin and Minister Simcha Rothman have mainly been involved. Before Netanyahu’s speech, Israel’s parliament passed a law that would make it much more difficult to impeach a government leader.

The ruling coalition has accused the country’s Supreme Court of excessive interference in political decisions. As a result, it has proposed amending Israeli law to allow parliament to overturn the court’s decisions by a simple majority. The proposed reforms would also give the government much more power over appointing judges.

Critics see the changes as a major threat to the separation of powers and have warned of a dangerous institutional crisis. As a result, mass demonstrations against the reforms have regularly occurred across the country since the unveiling of the proposals.

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