‘Corrupt and Dangerous’: LISTEN to Benjamin Wittes on Israel’s Judicial Overhaul

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Aerial shot of demonstrators in Tel Aviv, on Saturday.
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Aerial shot of demonstrators in Tel Aviv, on Saturday.
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Haaretz Weekly

The Israeli Supreme Court has a “huge amount of power while the foundation of that power is paper thin,” says Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and editor-in-chief of the Lawfare Blog, in an interview with Haaretz Weekly host Allison Kaplan Sommer. 

This problematic combination, Wittes says, is why the Supreme Court is now “particularly vulnerable. It's as if you’ve built this giant and extremely powerful weapon, but built it on a pillar of sand.”

In a deep dive, Wittes explains and analyzes each of the controversial reforms planned by the Netanyahu government, their implications for the U.S.-Israel relationship and the likelihood that, if they pass, Israel’s arguments for resisting international tribunals will be weakened.

Some elements of the judicial reform, Wittes warns, are “corrupt” and “very dangerous.” And speaking personally as a legal scholar and expert who has “engaged deeply” with Israel in the past, he says that if the reforms are implemented, it would “fundamentally change my regard for the integrity of the Israeli legal system.

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