President Isaac Herzog is a left-winger and is not a fair mediator in the judicial reform talks, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Tuesday.
Herzog on Monday said no agreements had been reached during talks at the President’s Residence, contrary to claims by Smotrich and other members of the coalition.
“It is important for me to stress that during the talks under my auspices, there were no obligatory drafts sent by the President’s Residence to either side and as such, there were no full agreements on any issue,” he said. “I recommend not harming the fairness and integrity of the process.”
Smotrich on Tuesday told Kol Barama Radio: “The president published his plan in the past one-sidedly. He is a left-wing person and unfortunately is unsuccessful in being a fair moderator.”
National Unity chairman Benny Gantz on Tuesday said Herzog was “spending night and day working to prevent the ruin of democracy, the schism in the people, and the severe damage to Israel’s economy.”
“It would be good if the government ministers stop the severe damage to the citizens of Israel that they are inflicting in the judicial overhaul, instead of blaming the person who is doing everything to prevent it,” he wrote on Twitter.
Otzma Yehudit MK Yitzhak Kreuzer on Tuesday said: “We trust that the president will act with fairness and integrity. President Herzog is a man of many accomplishments who cares about the State of Israel. The president is outside of political discourse. We trust that the president will act with integrity and good faith.”
Regarding the economy, Smotrich on Tuesday told Army Radio: “There had not been damage to the economy, but rather small turbulence due to the opponents of the reform and the chaos. There were people who told lies to the whole world and said Israel would cease to be a democracy and called to stop investing [in Israel].”
Herzog’s statement contradicted claims by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the coalition that a law had been agreed to behind closed doors that would limit the Supreme Court’s use of the “reasonableness clause” when evaluating government decisions.
The coalition said it intends to begin the legislative process for the law on Wednesday in the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee.