Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Justice Minister Yariv Levin's planned judicial reforms during the weekly Likud faction meeting Monday.
"The discussion in most media channels around the reform is superficial and one-sided, everything is designed to create false panic about the end of democracy, the destruction of the state and other slogans," Netanyahu said. "The truth is of course the opposite. In a large majority of democracies in the world, the reforms presented by Levin are carried out. Only in Israel do judges have veto rights as well as the right to choose their own members and disqualify others. In most of the democracies in the world, the advisers are, as their name suggests - advisers - and do not decide."
"The opinion of the advisors is heard, but not binding. In most democracies in the world there is a clause to override judicial decisions [to strike down laws]. When you examine the proposed reforms one by one, not only are they not unusual compared to other democracies, but this is the norm that exists in the vast majority of them," he said.
"The country that is 'off side' when compared to other democracies is Israel," he added. "We come to align with the majority of the democracies in the world - the USA, Britain and France are not democracies? Is there destruction there? The end of democracy? The destruction of the rule of law? This is absolutely absurd."
Netanyahu added that "We have no intention of apologizing for Minister Levin's initiative, on the contrary. Throughout the election campaign, the issue came up time and time again, he emphasized it explicitly. Likud members did the same. I was also interviewed two days before the elections and said that we would make corrections in the judicial system."