The heated debate over the government's judicial reform plan parallels tragic events in the Jewish people's past, former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Sunday, pointing out that the fast of Tisha B'Av is this week.
"Given the striking parallels between Israel’s current internal rift and the infighting that caused the destruction of the Second Temple 2000 years ago, why would the Israeli Government proceed with its Judicial Reform bill on the eve of Tisha B’Av? Very bad timing," Friedman tweeted.
Given the striking parallels between Israel’s current internal rift and the infighting that caused the destruction of the Second Temple 2000 years ago, why would the Israeli Government proceed with its Judicial Reform bill on the eve of Tisha B’Av? Very bad timing.— David M Friedman (@DavidM_Friedman) July 23, 2023
Tisha B'Av is a day of fasting that marks the date of several tragic events in Jewish history, including the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem.
The destruction of the Second Temple after a Jewish rebellion against Roman rulers, who besieged Jerusalem. During the siege, amid fighting between Jewish factions, zealots burned the city's food supplies, an event that has often been used as a metaphor in Hebrew for Israeli infighting in recent years.
100 former Israeli diplomats signed petition
Also Sunday, about 100 former Israeli diplomats signed a petition stating that the judicial reform plan is "undermining [Israel's] international standing and eating away at the network of critical connections it has in the world."
"We are especially concerned by the open rift created with our best friend and ally and the one and only strategic support Israel has in the world, the US," the diplomats said. "Israel was born a democracy and its belonging to the free democratic world does not only express the spirit of the people and their will but is a central component in its security, diplomatic, economic, scientific and social capabilities."
Among the signatories of the letter are prominent former diplomats such as former ambassador and Labor MK Colette Avital, former ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff, the pro-BDS former director-general of the Foreign Ministry Alon Liel, former ambassador to France Daniel Shek, former deputy head of the National Security Council Eran Etzion, and all of Israel's former ambassadors to the EU from the past decade.
Ex-ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk tweeted that the letter called on Netanyahu "to stop the judicial legislation to protect Israel's democracy and our shared values and vital relations with our closest allies."
I was one of 100 former Israeli ambassadors and diplomats who signed a letter today to PM Netanyahu calling on him to stop the judicial legislation to protect Israel's democracy and our shared values and vital relations with our closest allies. https://t.co/YXFuvjyqLn— ארתור לֶנק آرثر لينك (@ArthurLenk) July 23, 2023
Former ambassador to India Daniel Carmon tweeted that "with the same pride with which I represented all governments of Israel in the US, in Argentina, in the UN and in India, I am proud to be part of this group of senior diplomats who fear for the fate of the country under this crazy extremist coup."
תבלום בלימת חירום, תעצור את החקיקה, @IsraeliPM @netanyahu , לפני שיהיה מאוחר https://t.co/6KFDcInAIH— Daniel Carmon (@danielocarmon) July 23, 2023
Netanyahu famously disdains the Foreign Ministry, writing about how he found their work lacking in his memoirs and often undermining the ministry's work over his years in office by dividing its authority among other ministers.