On Monday, the Israeli Knesset voted to approve the first phase of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan for a sweeping and controversial overhaul of the country's judicial system. He says the changes are designed to curb the powers of the judiciary, from limiting the Supreme Court's ability to challenge parliamentary decisions to changing the way judges are selected.
David Rubin, who lives in Israel, supports the reforms for the reasons Netanyahu has outlined. It is not helping the situation there, he tells AFN, when the Biden administration is denouncing the reforms.
“There is a problem,” he says, “when you have an administration that is trying to undermine Israel in every step of the way – and we've seen that during demonstrations of the far left in Israel, which Biden is clearly sided with – and against the judicial reform that is badly needed in Israel in order to restore the checks and balances to the system."
The reforms are being approved amid mass protests and violence in the streets by demonstrators who are accusing Netanyahu of pursuing a personal vendetta since he is on trial for corruption charges.
Much like U.S. politics, both sides claim they are saving democracy and their political enemy is destroying it.
Rubin says the Biden administration’s sour relationship with Israel can be traced to a liberal view that doesn’t value hard work, family, and religious faith.