Senate Democrat calls Netanyahu plans ‘alarming’ and ‘appalling’
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on Sunday called out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial reform plans, which have sparked widespread protests in the country, calling them “alarming” and “appalling.”
“I am in solidarity with all Israelis who are peacefully expressing their outrage. What Bibi is doing is alarming, appalling, and perilous for the relationship between our two countries. We stand for democracy,” Schatz wrote on Twitter.
Schatz and other members of Congress have expressed concerns about Netanyahu’s plans to shake up Israel’s judiciary, which would give the executive body more power to appoint justices and would let the government overrule Supreme Court decisions.
Israel has seen an intense surge of protests after Netanyahu fired a defense minister who called for a pause on the plans.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said after news of the firing that the Biden administration is deeply concerned about the ongoing tensions, and that the recent developments in Israel “further underscore the urgent need for compromise.”
The U.S. has stressed its “ironclad” support for Israel, but Schatz has suggested the U.S.-Israel relationship might need to be reevaluated if “they cease to share our values and interests.”
“I have never been more alarmed about the future of Israel,” Schatz told The Hill earlier this month. “As a democracy, I think that Netanyahu operates as though he’s got the American political system wired, and can act with impunity, and ignore democratic norms and harm Palestinian people, and that has to stop.”
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