Resource to Help You Understand the Judicial Reforms in Israel

Background Information and Reading 

On December 29, 2022, a new Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was sworn in. You can read Jewish Federations’ statement on the new government here, and listen to a recording of our webinar: “Jewish Federations and the New Israeli Government.”

Israel has no written constitution, and a Basic Law meant to regulate the balance of power between the branches of government, in particular between the Knesset and the Supreme Court, has never been enacted. Therefore, the system of checks and balances between government authorities was left for the Supreme Court to establish. It did so, at least in the view of most of its justices, on the basis of Knesset legislation. Now Israel’s new government is considering reforms to that system. 

The proposed judicial reforms, parts of which are already at various stages of the legislative process, have generated extraordinary levels of debate in Israeli society and around the world. 

The Jewish Federations of North America sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid (original Hebrew version here) expressing our concerns over aspects of the reforms and urging the two sides to negotiate a compromise, based on the suggestions of President Isaac Herzog. News of our letter was widely reported in the Israeli press, and shortly after the letter was delivered, Prime Minister Netanyahu openly called for dialogue (see here) and Opposition Leader Lapid responded in a letter to Federations, stating that he agreed with our principles.

Proposed Changes 



Latest Developments 

  • See developments in judicial reform legislation here
  • Jewish Federations’ update on the reforms (February 22) as well as this update (January 2023) and an emerging middle road (February 3, 2023)
  • Yariv Levin positive on new ‘outside the box’ judicial reform outline.