Famed US Lawyer, Defender of Israel, Opposes Legal Overhaul

January 8, 2023

TEL AVIV, Israel — Prominent U.S. lawyer Alan Dershowitz, long a staunch defender of Israel’s policies on the international stage, said Sunday he cannot defend sweeping judicial reforms planned by Israel’s new government.

The proposals call for an overhaul aimed at curbing the powers of the judiciary, including by allowing lawmakers to pass laws that the Supreme Court has struck down. The reforms would give politicians more power over how judges are chosen and limit the independence of government legal advisers, among other steps.

The legal reforms were essential to solidifying the current coalition government, headed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and made up of conservative ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox parties who seek to advance their agenda through less judicial oversight.

Dershowitz said the reforms pose a threat to civil liberties and minority rights in Israel.

“If I were in Israel I would be joining the protests,” Dershowitz told Israeli Army Radio, referring to a protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday against the reforms that drew thousands.

“It will make it much more difficult for people like me who try to defend Israel in the international court of public opinion to defend them effectively,” he said. “It would be a tragedy to see the Supreme Court weakened.”

It was unusual to hear Dershowitz, who has written bestselling books supporting Israeli policies and is close to Netanyahu, so forcefully opposing the proposed reforms. Dershowitz said he had informed Netanyahu recently of his “very strong, negative views” of the reforms, saying they would also expose Israel to legal challenges by global bodies such as the International Criminal Court.

The reforms could also help Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, evade a conviction or see his trial disappear entirely. Dershowitz said he believed Netanyahu agreed to the reforms not to save himself from a conviction but rather to appease the partners of his new governing coalition.

Critics accuse the government of declaring war against the legal system, saying the plan will upend Israel’s system of checks and balances and undermine its democratic institutions by giving absolute power to the most right-wing coalition in the country’s history.

The government says the plan strikes the right balance between the executive and judicial branches while streamlining governance and legislation.



GREENSBORO, North Carolina  — Former President Donald Trump on Saturday further escalated his immigration rhetoric and baselessly accused President Joe Biden of waging a “conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America" as he campaigned ahead of Super Tuesday's primaries.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Truck Driver Pulled to Safety After Crash Leaves Vehicle Dangling over Bridge Across Ohio River

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The driver of a semi-truck was pulled to safety Friday by firefighters following a crash that left the vehicle dangling over a bridge across the Ohio River.

BALTIMORE – Determined to mount a serious election campaign, with a focus on social issues emphasizing public education, first generation Greek-American educator Sia Kyriakakos spoke to The National Herald about her great endeavor.

NICOSIA - With Turkey already hunting for energy in parts of Cyprus’ offshore Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) it doesn’t recognize, the Greek-Cypriot government said Turkey didn’t have the right to allow a university research boat to conduct research in those waters.

ATHENS - A move by the ruling New Democracy government to allow private colleges in Greece has drawn interest from 10 top international schools, Education Minister Kyriakos Pierrarakakis said ahead of a vote in Parliament.

ATHENS - While there’s been an easing of tensions between the countries, Turkey said that Greece’s positioning of troops on some Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast violates peace treaties and said their sovereignty could be challenged.