Last week’s meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Democratic Congressional delegation led by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries seemed like part of an effort by President Joe Biden to double down on his warning to the PM: a move to whittle down the power of the Israeli Supreme Court in favor of the Knesset threatens to undermine American support for the Jewish state.

It should be noted that the congressional delegation consisted of long-time, earnest, and well known pro-Israel lawmakers. The Prime Minister would have had special reason to take the delegation’s message very seriously. Media outlets all made a point of reporting that the delegation told Mr. Netanyahu that the planned judicial overhaul made it hard for their party to continue defending the Jewish state in Washington.


The President, of course, had long been trying to make it clear that he favored a predominant Supreme Court to counter the emergence of a right-wing, religious coalition in order to preserve the possibility of a Palestinian state. While there was a logic to that argument, in the context of recent events it was not all that clear that Mr. Biden was really very serious.

It wasn’t so long ago that Biden and his fellow Democrats were arguing for Congressional responses to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Some, like the president and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, said the unelected judges were out of sync with voters. They called for the enactment of a national abortion rights law and or increasing the number of justices in order to produce a pro-abortion majority.

Others, like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opted for bald intimidation: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” he said. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

When it comes to America, the president has been arguing for legislative supremacy; yet when it comes to Israel he advocates for the judiciary?

As we see it, it would be best instead to allow the tensions within the Israeli public to play themselves out. The massiveness of the competing demonstrations tells us that some form of compromise will likely develop from within. Unseemly interference in the country’s political affairs would have been best avoided.

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