White House Calls Israel Vote on Judicial Reform ‘Unfortunate’

white house calls israel vote on judicial reform unfortunate
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President Joe Biden’s White House expressed regret Monday that Israel’s parliament, or Knesset, had voted to adopt a reform to the country’s powerful judiciary, over the objections of the U.S.

The reform is the most widely accepted of several proposed reforms, many of which parallel existing practice in the U.S. It will prevent the Supreme Court from overturning government policies on the basis of whether judges think they are “reasonable.”

Netanyahu separated the reforms into several bills, and paused the legislative process to allow time for talks with the opposition, which failed. His government has said it is willing to compromise on future legislation.

As Breitbart News reported, Biden issued a statement Sunday warning Israeli Prime Minister not to proceed with the bill. (Netanyahu was recovering from heart surgery at the time; Biden apparently neglected to wish him well.) The White House has opposed the reforms, and has been accused of stoking opposition within Israel itself, though it gave no substantive reason for its position, other than its desire to see “consensus” in Israel.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who once backed a boycott of Netanyahu, issued a statement:

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. 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.

Despite the White House proclaiming that “major changes in a democracy to be enduring must have as broad a consensus as possible,” Biden backed the passage of Obamacare in 2010 on a party-line vote, and continues to celebrate the anniversary of its passage. He also backs the codification of Roe v. Wade, the now-overturned precedent guaranteeing the right to abortion, despite a broad range of dissenting views throughout the country.

His own Inflation Reduction Act, which the administration boasts as a transformative piece of economic legislation that will create a “green” U.S. economy, was pushed through Congress on a party-line vote.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller repeated that it was “unfortunate” that the judicial reform passed the Knesset on the “slimmest possible majority.” The vote was 64-0 on party lines; the opposition boycotted.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file

Authored by Joel B. Pollak via Breitbart July 24th 2023