Statement- APN Condemns Knesset “Reasonableness Law”; Calls on Biden, US Jewish Community to Act

Americans for Peace Now (APN) condemns today’s Knesset vote on the so-called “reasonableness law” which bars Israel’s Supreme Court from challenging unreasonable laws and executive measures. This vote is, according to the very members who supported it, only the first step towards more unreasonable, anti-democratic legislation by the government, including measures to move forward with the annexation of the West Bank and perpetuate the occupation.

APN calls on the Biden administration to move past declarations of concern and respond by iterating the concrete steps it will take in response to the actions of the Netanyahu government. APN also urges fellow American Jewish organizations to speak out loudly and clearly against  the anti-democratic trajectory of Israel under Netanyahu’s government of nationalistic zealots.

APN strongly supports the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who have been demonstrating for over six months against the government and its anti-democratic policies and practices. We stand in solidarity with them and encourage them to further escalate their protest. By embarking on its anti-democratic “legal reform” today, the governing coalition underscored the protesters’ assertion that the government, while legally elected, is illegitimate and should be treated as such.  

We hope that some members of the ruling government coalition would appreciate and understand what the demonstrators are concerned about, change course, and work to protect the rights of all citizens of Israel - Jewish and non-Jewish alike. We also encourage Israelis to look beyond specific legislation to push for creating a constitution that would protect all Israelis and avoid the fiasco that Israel has been experiencing in the past few months.

The so-called “Reasonableness Law” was passed 64-0, with all the coalition MKs supporting it, and all of the opposition MKs leaving the plenum in protest. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Israelis are protesting outside the Israeli parliament.

APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “While we saw the trainwreck coming, it’s still horrific to see the carnage. We hoped that Netanyahu would place the good of the nation over his own efforts to avoid justice, and would take action to avert this shameful legislation. Unfortunately, he has chosen to throw Israel deeper into a crisis that threatens its very democracy. Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist zealous allies already said today after passing this law that it is only the beginning of their legislative revolution. They are clear about their plans for annexation. They are clear about their commitment to Jewish Supremacy, and they are clear about their willingness to do anything to cling to power. This is not the time for bothsidesism and soft statements of concern. This is the time for action.”