Netanyahu, stop the judicial overhaul– It's not too late

Opinion: CEO of Mobileye calls to stop the madness - The changes at stake increase the fear that the government is striving for an unrestrained power takeover; Mr. Prime Minister, you did not receive a mandate to alter the face of the nation

Professor Amnon Shashua|
I am not a political person. Since the government declared its intention to promote judicial reform, I believed with all my heart that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom I deeply respect, would ultimately do the right thing. This belief was also based on meetings and lengthy discussions with various relevant parties. However, unfortunately, I am no longer convinced of that.
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The narrative that promotes a right-wing worldview, requiring the reduction of judicial oversight of public officials while ignoring the costs involved, is wrong and even dangerous. The Israeli government can implement its policy in a balanced manner, just as previous governments, both right wing and left wing, have done within the existing judicial framework.
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 מחאה בתל אביב
 מחאה בתל אביב
Protests in Tel Aviv
Even if the current government believes there are flaws in the judicial system, history has shown that we have succeeded in establishing a glorious state, and previous governments managed to promote policies even without the power sought by this government. Therefore, those who define what is happening in Israel in recent months as a "political dispute" are mistaken and misleading.
The recent changes at stake increase the fear that the government is striving for an unrestrained power takeover. The government seeks not only to reduce, possibly eliminate, judicial oversight of public officials' actions but also to prevent any judicial oversight of what they are required to do and refrain from doing. It is essential to remember that today the public officials in power represent the right bloc; tomorrow, they may be representatives of the left. The government received the mandate from the majority, but it does not mean it received the mandate to change the face of the nation.
In order to make significant changes in the fundamental principles of our legal system, we must act with a broad consensus that does not differentiate between right-wing and left-wing stances. Such essential changes, like interfering with the independence of the judiciary and its involvement in governmental decisions, concern all of us, regardless of our political positions. We should not approach such legislation with a one-sided and biased approach. We must seek consensus. If reaching an agreement is not possible, the process should be stopped. It must be stopped.
The current coalition, led by Netanyahu, has been given the keys to govern the country. In the business entrepreneurship world, a CEO of a company that destroys its values is held responsible, regardless of who or what caused the destruction of value. It seems that the immense damage to security, economy, foreign relations and social cohesion does not deter the coalition and does not stop the continued destruction of values.
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Professor Amnon Shashua
Professor Amnon Shashua
Professor Amnon Shashua
(Photo: Yonatan Bloom)
Therefore, in the current situation, all that remains between us and this dangerous change with unclear implications is the citizens of Israel themselves. In these days, Israeli citizens have a historic role – to stop the destruction of values. The attempt to label those opposing the reform – including intellectuals – as illegitimate, is designed to prevent us from discussing the essence. The protest, which has many faces, is largely represented by concerned law-abiding citizens, anxious that the social contract between the citizens and the state is being violated. In the emergency situation we find ourselves in, protest is the last resort.
I am not a politician, and these views reflect my personal opinion only. Yet, I call upon the prime minister and the coalition members – Stop! This is the wrong path, one that will not lead you to succeed, not for your benefit, nor for the benefit of the State of Israel and the Israeli people. Mr. Prime Minister, stop the frenzy! Prevent the rift. It is not too late.
  • Professor Amnon Shashua is the president and CEO of Mobileye
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