Netanyahu accuses the NY Times of ‘demonizing Israel for decades’

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue to ignore “unfounded advice” from the New York Times after the paper published a editorial on Saturday warning that his allegedly hardline incoming government poses a danger to Israel’s democracy.

The article, titled “The Ideal of Democracy in a Jewish State is in Danger,” argued that while Netanyahu won the election fairly, the far-reaching power he offers his far-right and ultra-Orthodox associates creates a real threat. for democracy. values.

in a short twitter thread On Sunday, Netanyahu accused the publication of “burying the Holocaust for years in its last pages and demonizing Israel for decades,” charging that it now “shamefully calls for undermining Israel’s incoming elected government.”

“As the NYT continues to delegitimize the only true democracy in the Middle East and America’s best ally in the region, I will continue to ignore their unfounded advice and instead focus on building a stronger and more prosperous country by strengthening ties with United States, expand peace with our neighbors and secure the future of the only Jewish state,” Netanyahu wrote.

In its editorial on Saturday, the Times junta said it had been a “strong supporter of Israel and a two-state solution” and would remain so, but that the incoming Netanyahu government was “a significant threat to the future of Israel: its leadership, its security. and even the idea of ​​a Jewish homeland.

He argued that the new government “marks a qualitative and alarming break with all other governments in Israel’s 75-year history,” rejecting the claim that the Netanyahu-led bloc’s 64-56-seat electoral victory gave it a “ broad mandate to make concessions to ultra-religious and ultra-nationalist parties.”

Saying that the incoming administration’s positions “could make it militarily and politically impossible for a two-state solution ever to emerge,” the newspaper called on the Biden administration to “do everything possible to express support for a society ruled for equal rights and the rule of law in Israel.

“That would be an act of friendship, consistent with the deep bond between the two nations,” the NYT said.

The article warned against Netanyahu’s associates, in particular the far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir.

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Otzma Yehudit head Itamar Ben Gvir arrive for the swearing-in ceremony for the new Knesset, on November 15, 2022. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)

“The new cabinet [Netanyahu] is forming includes radical far-right parties that have called, among other things, to expand and legalize settlements in a way that would make a Palestinian state in the West Bank impossible; changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, an action that risks sparking a new round of Arab-Israeli violence; and undermining the authority of the Israeli Supreme Court, thus freeing the Knesset, the Israeli legislature, to do as it pleases, with little judicial restraint,” the newspaper warned.

All of these moves “are troubling,” the editorial said, “and America’s leaders should say so.”

Netanyahu’s bloc, which consists of his Likud party, two ultra-Orthodox factions and three far-right parties, has been pushing controversial legislation through the Knesset as a political precondition for ending hardline rule before the deadline for the Wednesday to declare a coalition. .

Legislation planned by the emerging coalition includes a High Court cancellation clause that will restrict the judiciary by allowing the Knesset to re-legislate laws that are struck down by the High Court.

Members of the incoming coalition have promised to pass the nullification clause and also give the ruling coalition of the day control over the panel that selects the judges.

The legislation, demanded by the Religious Zionism and United Torah Judaism parties as well as numerous Likud lawmakers, would likely allow the Knesset to re-legislate any such law or enact legislation with immunity from judicial review from the outset.

The proposed judicial changes, particularly the nullification clause, have been denounced by Netanyahu’s political rivals and prominent legal figures as destructive to Israel’s democratic system, leaving the day’s parliamentary majority unchecked in its power.

Other bills in the pipeline will expand the authority of the national security minister, who will be Otzma Yehudit chief Itamar Ben Gvir, over the police force, and another will make it more difficult for rebel lawmakers to break away from their parliamentary factions without sanction.

The likely incoming coalition wants the bills to become law before the government is sworn in, and Netanyahu has until December 21 to declare that he has cobbled together a coalition and a week later for the Knesset to approve it.

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