Israel’s Netanyahu drops most controversial part of judicial revamp: Report

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will drop the most controversial part of his plan to remake the court system, which would have allowed the national legislature to overturn Supreme Court rulings, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday.

In an interview, Netanyahu told the newspaper he would also revise another controversial element that would have given the ruling coalition more power to appoint judges, while adding that he was not sure what the new version would look like.

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“I’m attentive to the public pulse, and to what I think will pass muster,” Netanyahu said.

Last week Israeli lawmakers began debating the bill that would limit the Supreme Court’s powers, rebooting a fiercely opposed judicial overhaul instigated by Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist coalition that has sparked mass protests.

The changes also stirred Western concern over Israel’s democratic health and spooked investors. Critics see them as an attempt to curb court independence by Netanyahu, who is on trial on graft charges that he denies.

In the interview, the three-time prime minister rejected calls to join the West’s efforts to arm Ukraine, saying he also shared concerns with Russia over Moscow’s growing military ties to Iran.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu said he had been invited to China and emphasized that the United States remained Israel’s key ally.

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