48 House Democrats sign open letter supporting large-scale Israeli protests
House Democrats issued an open letter Wednesday voicing support for Israeli protesters demonstrating against a push by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to overhaul the country’s judiciary.
The letter, signed by 48 Democrats, backs protesters’ efforts to stop Netanyahu from pursuing judicial reforms that were put on hold in response to months-long, large-scale protests across the country and in the face of unprecedented opposition by President Biden.
“Through peaceful protests and strikes, you have delayed the advancement of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s extreme plan to eviscerate the independence of the Israeli judiciary, and we’re hopeful that through continued activism, you will stop it once and for all,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
“We’re deeply concerned that this legislation will corrode Israel’s democratic character and, in doing so, strain the critical relationship between Israel and the United States.”
The letter was led by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and signed by 46 other Democrats, most of whom are progressive members of Congress. The letter was endorsed by progressive American-Jewish groups including J Street and Americans for Peace Now.
Netanyahu on Wednesday reportedly said he is reopening talks about the judicial reforms, which have been tabled since March due to the protests.
His remarks followed protests across the country Saturday expressing opposition to the judicial overhaul, the 20th week of the demonstrations.
Netanyahu’s commitment to push through the judicial reforms are part of the prime minister’s agreement with far-right members of his governing coalition, essential to securing a slim majority for the longtime Israeli leader to remain in power in December.
The reforms include allowing the government to overrule Supreme Court decisions and have greater control over appointing judges to the bench.
The White House welcomed the pause in March and urged Netanyahu to reach a compromise with his political opposition on judiciary reforms.
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