Rabbi Tuly Weisz, founder of Israel365, believes American Christians should care deeply about the judicial reform policies under consideration right now in Israel following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election.
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“Not only did he get a strong showing, but it was the most right-wing coalition that Israel has ever had,” he said, describing it as both conservative and religious. “As a result, the media, which is super left-wing, is coming down hard against Netanyahu.”
Weisz said the issue of judicial reform is being used as an “excuse” to go after Netanyahu and his government. He called Israel’s Supreme Court the “last bastion of liberal holdouts” in a nation that’s becoming more conservative, proceeding to explain what the judicial reform proposal entails.
“The judicial reform issue is basically something that Netanyahu campaigned upon, meaning that the people who elected him want to reform the judiciary,” he said. “In Israel, you have a very strange situation where the Supreme Court is extremely left-wing and has … their own very strange rules.”
Watch Weisz explain the Supreme Court scenario and why he believes reform is critical:
The court is not elected by the legislature, with justices appointing themselves “over and over again,” according to Weisz. And with no official codified and written constitution in Israel, he argued these justices can interpret laws as they see fit.
“They can interpret laws basically according to what they consider reasonable or not reasonable, but they don’t represent the people; they’re not elected,” he said. “There’s a strong sense that we need to reform the judiciary, which is exactly what the Netanyahu government is looking to.”
Critics and protestors claim the changes will harm the democratic process. Former Supreme Court Justice Menachem Mazuz likened the moves to a “coup d’état” — or a sudden seizure of power — and said it would have sweeping consequences.
“[It is] a series of moves directed against the judicial system, but their real goal is to crush Israeli democracy — to damage the checks and balances on which democracy is based, resulting in a violation of human rights,” Mazuz said. “This is a distinct Orwellian discourse that attempts to distract and mislead the public, the media and the discourse must not fall into this trap and adopt the terminology of reform.”
Regardless of the overarching debate, Weisz said U.S. Christians should be paying close attention, arguing Jerusalem is the “only place that the Bible demands our attention.”
“As it says in Psalms, ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,'” he said. “We’re supposed to pay attention to what’s happening in Israel, and so Christians want to know that Israel is strong and Israel is secure, but also that Israel is following not only democratic principles, but the principles of the Bible.”
He said he believes Judicial reform is essential for Israel to be closer to the U.S. system and, as a result, “more democratic” and biblically aligned.
Watch Weisz’s arguments here.
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