© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem, March 19, 2023. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday about a proposed judicial overhaul in Israel and said that the country would remain a “strong and vibrant democracy”, Netanyahu’s office said.
The two leaders also spoke about the “Iranian threat,” his office said in a statement, but it did not elaborate.
Netanyahu is pursuing changes to the judiciary that would give his government greater sway on selecting judges and limit the power of the Supreme Court to strike down legislation.
Critics of the planned law changes say Netanyahu – on trial on graft charges that he denies – is pursuing steps that will hurt Israel’s democratic checks and balances, enable corruption and bring diplomatic isolation.
Proponents say the changes are needed to curb what they deem an activist judiciary that interferes in politics.