Anti-reform protesters block roads
Anti-reform protesters block roadsChaim Goldberg'Flash 90

National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appeared to credit the protests against the government's planned judicial reforms with saving Israel from turning into a dictatorship.

"The protest was the most effective factor in stopping the original reform plan," Hanegbi said in an interview with Channel 12 News. "This is a fact."

Hanegbi stated that he was "very surprised" by the vehemence of the opposition to the judicial reforms. “That’s why I was very glad when I understood that the protesters’ bleak forecasts simply weren’t going to come true. Which I’m sure they are happy about.”

The interviewer asked what "bleak forecasts" Hanegbi referred to, and he responded: “That we’re headed to a dictatorship.”

He further stated that it is "clear cut" that this is because of the protests.

The surprising comments were released as part of a promotion for the larger interview. It is unclear how accurately the promo represents the National Security Adviser's actual positions as it is heavily edited.