Blinken Says Reforms Require ‘Consensus’ Amid Israel Protests

NNA – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told AFP that major reforms require consensus, as Israel is rocked by protests over a bid by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remake the nation's judiciary.

In an interview late Thursday, Blinken said that while the United States would not take sides on details of proposals in the "very vibrant democracy of Israel," finding "consensus is the best way forward".

"One thing that we know from our own experience as democracies is that when you're looking to make big changes — major reforms — in your laws, your institutions, consensus is maybe the most important thing," he said in the interview in Niger.

Consensus is key to "making sure that you have something that's not only accepted, but that it also will last — is durable."

Netanyahu's new hard-right government has proposed major reforms that include allowing lawmakers to scrap supreme court rulings with a simple majority vote.

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets and Israeli President Isaac Herzog has warned that the proposal could ignite a civil war, but Netanyahu has rejected a proposed compromise.

Some critics allege that Netanyahu is pushing through the reforms to protect himself as he fights corruption charges.–AFP