An Open Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu, Opposition Leader Lapid:
The Jewish Federations of North America have a deep and abiding love for the State of Israel. We rejoice at its growth and accomplishments, we pray for its safety and success, and we have, from long before the birth of the state to this very day, done everything within our ability to assist its government and people. Our support for the State of Israel is unconditional and eternal.
It is because of this love and support that we have been following closely the increasingly acrimonious debate over the governing coalition’s proposals to make fundamental changes in the relationship between the Knesset and the Supreme Court, especially the proposal to allow the Knesset to overturn decisions of the Supreme Court with a bare majority vote. We write to each of you, the leaders of the government and the opposition, for two reasons.
First, we urge you each to fully embrace the proposals set forth by the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, to set a course for the consideration and resolution of these issues. President Herzog has the respect and admiration of Jews around the world, as do both of you. Whatever the final resolution of these issues, this process will ensure that the views of all stakeholders are fully considered.
Second, we urge you to make clear that a majority of just sixty-one votes of the Knesset is not sufficient to override a decision of the Supreme Court. The essence of democracy is both majority rule and protection of minority rights. We recognize that any system of checks and balances will be different than those in our own countries, but such a dramatic change to the Israeli system of governance will have far-reaching consequences in North America, both within the Jewish community and in the broader society.
With best wishes for the continued flourishing of our beloved Jewish state. Am Yisrael chai!