Former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, a pro-Israel American official who pushed for the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, criticized the Israeli government's planned judicial reforms, Israeli journalist Barak Ravid reported on Axios.
According to the report, Friedman made the criticism during a conference hosted by the Tikvah Fund and the Hertog Foundation in Tel Aviv last week.
According to a source who was present at the conference, Friedman rejected claims by Knesset Constitution Committee chairman MK Simcha Rothman and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich that the proposed reforms would merely bring the Israeli judicial system more in line with America's court system, and said that while he was in favor of reforming Israel's judicial system, the current proposal goes "too far for me and for many Americans.”
"You compare this to the US, but it doesn’t work like that in our system," he told MK Simcha Rothman.
Ambassador Friedman singled out the override clause, which would allow the Knesset to repass laws struck down by the Supreme Court, for criticism. He said that such a measure would prevent the courts from fulfilling their duty to protect minority rights.
Friedman is not the first former Trump Administration official to criticize the Israeli government's judicial reforms. Last week, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another extremely pro-Israel official, met with Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir in Tel Aviv to voice his concerns on several issues, including the judicial reforms.
Speaking about the judicial reforms, Pompeo said that the changes should be made one at a time, rather than "all at once."
Clashes broke out between protestors and police at anti-judicial reform riots in Tel Aviv and Haifa today (Wednesday), when hundreds of demonstrators broke through police barricades.
Police responded with stun grenades and mounted officers in an attempt to reopen the highway.
Eleven people were injured in the demonstrations.