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Kohelet rejects claim it is calling to stop judicial reform

The think tank said the Channel 12 report is "categorically false."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the Kohelet Forum Conference at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, Jan. 8, 2020. Credit: Flash90.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the Kohelet Forum Conference at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, Jan. 8, 2020. Credit: Flash90.

The Kohelet Policy Forum has rejected an Israeli media report that it is urging the government coalition to halt judicial reform legislation.

Channel 12 ran a story on Sunday alleging that senior officials from the Jerusalem-based think tank have in recent days held consultations with government ministers and Knesset members calling for a stop to judicial reform in favor of noncontroversial legislation.

“The harm is greater than the benefit,” Channel 12 alleged was said in those conversations. “We need to stop because the people are completely divided, the army is hurt and society is hurt.”

Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin criticized Kohelet’s supposed change of view, according to the report. The conservative-leaning organization has previously argued for the need for judicial reform.

However, the organization told The Jerusalem Post in an article published on Monday that the Channel 12 report was “categorically false.”

U.S. billionaire Arthur Dantchik announced on Friday that he would no longer support the Kohelet Policy Forum.

“Throughout my life, I have supported a diverse array of organizations that promote individual liberties and economic freedoms for all people,” Dantchik, 65, told Israeli business site Calcalist.

“Nevertheless, when a society becomes dangerously fragmented, people must come together to preserve democracy. I stopped donating to think tanks in Israel, including the Kohelet Policy Forum. I believe what is most critical at this time is for Israel to focus on healing and national unity,” he said.

Kohelet was tight-lipped about the news, telling JNS only that “we do not comment on individual donors. Donations to Kohelet are broad-based and increasing steadily.”

The Jewish Press reported that Dantchik caved in to a relentless assault from anti-judicial reform protesters who targeted him personally.

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