EU says following Israel 'with concern' after legislation

For the first time since the Kensset's approval of the bill curbing the reasonableness clause, the EU says its relations with Israel are based on 'shared values' and calls to reach a wide consensus

The European Union, addressed the situation in Israel for the first time on Wednesday following the Knesset’s approval of the reasonableness bill. “The European Union is following the developments in Israel related to the judicial reform closely and with concern,” a statement published Wednesday read.
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“EU-Israel relations are based on shared values, including the separation of powers and the rule of law, where the independent judiciary is an essential element to ensure effective checks and balances.”
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Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels
Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels
Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels
(Photo: AFP)
The EU made it clear it won’t interfere in the manner in which the judicial overhaul is legislated. “While the specific arrangements related to the judicial reform and its scope are to be decided by the Israelis, it is important that the core values on which our partnership is based are preserved.”
The statement said the EU is following the tense protests taking place in the country, even after the reasonableness bill was approved. “The ongoing debates and demonstrations are a sign that a considerable part of the Israeli population is concerned about the reforms and that Israel is a vibrant democracy.”
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יצחק הרצוג
יצחק הרצוג
President Isaac Herzog
The European body also called on the government to continue acting responsibly while looking for a wide consensus on further legislation. “The European Union calls on the Israeli government to continue to seek a broad consensus and aim for a process that is inclusive. It is important to reach a compromise which would be acceptable for the Israeli citizens and political parties.”
President Isaac Herzog in an earlier statement called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do the same, saying that "it’s the responsibility of those in power to find a solution to the crisis.”
Following Herzog’s comments, Netanyahu wrote on his social media: "On the eve of Tisha B'Av, I believe we can reach agreements and we are working with our partners, to do so.”
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