Ben Shapiro at CPAC Israel Conference
Ben Shapiro at CPAC Israel ConferenceCPAC Israel and TLV Intl. Salon

Conservative pundit and Daily Wire cofounder Ben Shapiro responded to Israel’s ongoing judicial overhaul crisis Monday, laying out the case for both reform and compromise in public policy.

In a series of tweets Monday night, the Orthodox Jewish commentator, who has frequently weighed in on Israeli politics, pushed back on the claim of anti-reform activists that the overhaul would gut Israeli democracy, but added that while judicial reform is necessary, the Right must compromise in terms of policy once reform has been achieved.

“The judicial reform fight in Israel is a proxy for the actual battle, which is really over the changing nature of Israel's political landscape,” Shapiro tweeted.

“The Right’s case is procedural. The current coalition is fighting to prevent the Israeli judiciary from acting as a de facto dictatorship, selecting its own successors and providing few or no limits to its authority. This has been the case since Aharon Barak’s ‘judicial revolution’ of 1995.”

“And that was a result of the rising power of both Likud voters and religious voters. The Right is correct about the judiciary’s overweening power, and the insanity of an AG who can act without actual authority. Many in the center and even on the Left agree with these critiques.”

“The Left’s case is consequentialist. They’re fighting against a loss of control in pure power terms. That’s what Barak’s judicial reform was about in 1995, and that’s what the current fight is about now.”

“The Left sees the judiciary as a bulwark against a rising demographic tide that places a lot of power in the hands of groups that disagree with the secularism of the Left, as well as groups that disproportionately do not serve in the military and receive a lot of social welfare.”

“This isn't a fight between democracy vs. authoritarianism. If anything, the Right is calling for more democracy and has an elected coalition, while the Left is using extra-legal measures like shutting down airports and highways to guarantee minority protections.”

Lamenting the current stalemate as “untenable,” Shapiro urged an incremental, negotiated change to the power structure in Israel to gradually curb judicial activism.

“In the end, this situation is really about Israel negotiating its future. The only way to move forward, as nearly everyone will agree in principle, is with more procedural power-sharing, including some judicial reform, combined with more compromise in terms of actual policy.”

“The alternative is a pitched battle in which the Left-wing and secular-oriented try to hold back the rising tide using non-electoral means, and in which the Right tries to ram through its agenda via electoral means.”

“That second option is what we’re seeing right now. And it’s untenable. It leads to a loss of trust in the value of electoral democracy from the coalition voters, and a belief that pressure from outside the system is the most effective tactic from opposition voters.”

“If the first option is to be pursued, that means negotiation and talking and incrementalism. The question is whether any of the political leaders are willing to do it.”