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Netanyahu accuses media of bias in coverage of judicial reform

“We are all witnessing an unprecedented attack by mobilized media channels against the government,” says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset, March 13, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset, March 13, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israel’s premier on Monday called out “leftist” and “biased” media for what he said was their one-sided coverage of the government’s proposed judicial reform.

Speaking before a Knesset faction meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu railed in a video message against news outlets for not providing a balanced perspective on his coalition’s legislative push to alter the balance of power between the legislative and judicial branches of government.

“We are all witnessing an unprecedented attack by mobilized media channels against the government and in favor of the opponents of the reform,” said the prime minister. “Live broadcasts, one-sided interpretations, biased polls, fake news 24 hours a day that doesn’t stop for a moment.”

The premier concluded that “the only way to fight lies is to tell the truth.”

However, it is difficult for Netanyahu to defend the legislation being pushed through parliament as he is under a gag order forbidding him from taking part in the debate over the judicial reform program.

On Feb. 2, Israeli Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara ordered Netanyahu to essentially recuse himself from the debate currently roiling the country due to a potential conflict of interest. On March 1, Netanyahu filed an objection with the Supreme Court against the gag order.

Israel has seen massive street demonstrations against the government’s proposed judicial reforms since the start of the year, along with a defiant political opposition seeking to halt the legislative process rather than work on a compromise. Some sort of compromise on judicial reform has been a key agenda item for President Isaac Herzog in recent weeks.

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