Statement by the Israel Democracy Institute on President Herzog’s Proposal
President Herzog's proposed compromise is a meaningful attempt at promoting constitutional reform in Israel.
The Israel Democracy Institute congratulates President Isaac Herzog on his extraordinary efforts. President Herzog listened to all parts of the Israeli people, exhibited leadership at a time of unprecedented crisis, and produced a serious proposal that gives hope to many that it may still prove possible to bridge the gaps within us.
The President should be commended for his attempt to turn this terrible crisis and into a historic constitutional moment that would entrench basic rights with a large majority, define the constitutional ‘rules of the game,’ preserve the independence of the Supreme Court, and define the scope of judicial review over legislation.
While the President’s plan contains some problematic elements, if it were to be adopted in its entirety as a package, we would support it because it safeguards our democracy and bolsters key elements of our constitutional foundations. Therefore we call on leaders from across the spectrum to adopt the plan and end the crisis that threatens to tear Israel apart.
There are elements of the proposal from which we dissent. For instance, the proposed change in the makeup of the Judicial Selection Committee will weaken the influence of the justices and could lead to a reduction in the high professional standards necessary to sit on the bench. Similarly, we dissent from the proposals to weaken the applicability of the “standard of extreme unreasonableness” and from the large majority needed for the Supreme Court to strike down laws that contravene Basic Laws.