Video capture of PM Netanyahu's speech on 'i24 News'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Thursday and addressed the reform of the judicial system, against the background of Defense Minister Galant's intention to publicly call for a halt to the legislation. Surprising almost everyone, Netanyahu doubled down on the reform, while offering an opportunity for dialogue to the opposition, but insisting the legislation will pass.

Netanyahu began his speech saying that "a few months ago, as soon as the election results were announced, I said, 'I intend to be the prime minister of all the citizens of Israel.' We cannot allow any dispute, no matter how acute, to endanger the common future of all of us."

According to the Prime Minister, "The opponents of the reform are not traitors and the supporters of the reform are not fascists. Most of the citizens of Israel love our country and want to preserve our democracy. But since there are those who appropriate democracy for themselves, I would like to say a few words about democracy: the supporters of the reform think that there is no true democracy and what endangers democracy is an all-powerful court.” 

“On the other hand, the opponents of the reform think that what will endanger democracy is a Knesset and a government that will act without restraints and without brakes, which will endanger the rights of the individual." Netanyahu added that "a proper democratic regime must deal with these two issues; deal with the rule of the majority and protect the rights of the individual. To ensure this and prevent the rift in the nation, the judicial reform must address these two basic needs.”

Netanyahu referred to the great power of the Supreme Court and said that "supporters of the reform are outraged that the balance between the authorities has been violated over the past decades. The court unjustifiably interfered with security considerations in the fight against terrorism, raising difficulties for the government's policy. For example, it prevented the removal of illegal immigrants from Israel and you know what that did to the residents of South Tel Aviv. They interfered in the gas plan and for years delayed the extraction of gas from the water. This cost billions of shekels. They prevented laws and delayed appointments that should not have been discussed at all."

The Prime Minister clarified that "In light of these concerns, I am saying tonight - I believe that it is possible to pass a reform that will provide an answer to both sides, that will restore the proper balance between the authorities and, beyond that, that will preserve the individual rights of every citizen in the country. We did not come to run over and trample. We came to balance and correct. We are determined to correct I am responsible for the democratic reform that will restore the balance between the authorities."  Netanyahu also made it a point to embellish individual rights in his speech, mentioning that he will personally lead a law to protect minority communities such as the LGBTQ community, secular rights, and non-Jews complete freedom.

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