President Herzog
President HerzogHaim Tzach/GPO

Israel's Persident Isaac Herzog published the following statement in wake of the protests and controversy regarding the current government's plan for judicial reform:

I wish to take this opportunity to address the events of the hour. We are in the grips of a profound disagreement that is tearing our nation apart. This conflict worries me deeply, as it worries many across Israel and the Diaspora.

The foundations of Israeli democracy, including the justice system, are sacred and we must strictly safeguard them, even at a time of fundamental arguments and debates about the relationship between the different branches of government.

I respect everyone who has been arguing and getting involved, protesting and demonstrating, and I appreciate the public engagement in this important debate. I respect the criticism toward me, but I am now focused on two critical roles that I believe I bear as President at this hour: averting a historic constitutional crisis and stopping the continued rift within our nation.

The Office of the President is perhaps the only place today that enjoys the confidence of all parties and is capable of hosting discussions on the subject in a manner accepted by all—behind closed doors and in open doors.

Over the past week, I have been working full time, by every means, making nonstop efforts with the relevant parties, with the aim of creating wide-reaching, attentive, and respectful discussion and dialogue, which I hope will yield results.

I humbly admit that I am not certain of this endeavor's success. There is goodwill from the various parties with whom the responsibility lies, but there is still a long way to go and significant gaps remain.

The principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Jewish and democratic contours of our state are my guiding lights and I will not allow them to be harmed.

We have a strong and diverse state and society, which have overcome many challenges before.

I pledge to continue working with all my might, and I hope that we will be able to find the right way to emerge from this difficult crisis, too.