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Jewish call for justice points to judicial overhaul's ultimate goal

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

More than a thousand Jewish academics and public leaders have signed a call for Israel to change its policies toward Palestinians, and have tied the push for judicial overhaul to the larger issue of ethnic cleansing. Entitled The Elephant in the Room, their letter points to a "direct link between Israel’s recent attack on the judiciary and its illegal occupation of millions of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories." Clearly naming Israeli apartheid, it states that "the ultimate purpose of the judicial overhaul is to tighten restrictions on Gaza, deprive Palestinians of equal rights both beyond the Green Line and within it, annex more land, and ethnically cleanse all territories under Israeli rule of their Palestinian population."

This is an important connection that has been absent from most media coverage of the protests over the Netanyahu government's "judicial reform," and it is critical that it be brought forward in our discussions with members of Congress. The internal turmoil over the attempt to weaken Israel's democracy is only part of the story. The Supreme Court serves as the last stop to prevent blatant human rights violations by Israel's military and racist laws passed by the Knesset. The ruling coalition's agenda is clear: they will not be content until Palestinians are removed from all territory desired for a "Greater Israel." For that, the courts must be stripped of power.

The petition from courageous Jews in the US and around the world deserves amplifying. We need to publicize it, share it widely, and make sure it becomes part of the conversation regarding Israel's future and America's role in that future. We cannnot allow Israel's government to mask its destruction of democratic principles as an "internal matter" while we blindly ignore its ultimate goal.

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