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Leaked judicial reform compromise not final, Herzog says

President clarifies that the version published in the media is one of many being considered.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Credit: Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Credit: Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90.

A leaked document published Tuesday morning appears to show the details of a compromise being brokered by President Isaac Herzog on the Israeli government’s proposed judicial reforms.

However, the President’s Office released a statement saying that the proposal leaked to the press is one of many being considered and stressing that Herzog has not finalized his proposal.

“The publication this morning was not to the knowledge of Herzog or anyone acting on his behalf,” the statement said.

“It should be clarified and emphasized that this is not the president’s outline. This is one proposal out of many that were presented in recent weeks by researchers and academics from different institutions. Herzog has not yet finalized a final proposal, and after he does, the proposal will be presented to the citizens of Israel,” the statement concluded.

The draft proposal would either nix the override clause or apply a narrow version of it. The override clause would allow the Knesset, to overrule an invalidation of a law by the Supreme Court or preemptively immunize a law from judicial review.

Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised the plan published in the media, saying in a Twitter post that “the emerging direction of the president’s outline looks balanced and good, and should be adopted.” However, it drew harsh criticism from elements on the left and right of the political spectrum who expressed their dissatisfaction.

Herzog on Monday told a gathering of some 100 municipal officials that a compromise proposal was nearly complete, and called on lawmakers to find common ground.

“We are closer than ever to the possibility of an outline. There are agreements behind the scenes on most things,” the president said. “Now it depends on our national leadership, the coalition and the opposition, who need to rise to the occasion and understand the terrible alternative and put the country and its citizens above everything else.”

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