In Israel, Leslie Kirby, President of Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, shares concern for divisions that judicial reform debate is causing in Israel & among Jews worldwide
During special 24-hour fly-in, North American Jewish leaders urge for immediate compromise, say continuing to move the bills forward as currently formulated is causing harm that will not be easily repaired.
Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville Board president Leslie Kirby was one of thirty Federation leaders representing communities across the United States and Canada who took part in an extraordinary, 24-hour visit to Israel to express their concerns with Israeli leaders on the proposed judicial reforms and to convey the implications these changes will have on the North American Jewish community.
In a joint statement the leaders released, they said:
“While each of the parties has, to one extent or another, committed itself to seeking compromise, no process other than President Herzog’s efforts are underway at the intensity required to achieve success. It is our view that the time for compromise is now. Continuing to move the bills forward as currently formulated is causing harm that will not be easily repaired.”
They continued, "We did not advocate for a specific plan, but we did note that the essence of democracy is both majority rule and protection of minority rights. This balance is preserved through establishing checks and balances between legislative authority and an independent judiciary. We urged that a clearly articulated system of checks and balances be in the final plan.
We appreciate the efforts of President Isaac Herzog to carefully develop compromise proposals with leading experts of widely differing views. His work should form the basis of a final agreement. We urge all sides to immediately engage with him on this basis.”
During the fly-in, Kirby and other members of the delegation met with President Isaac Herzog, Minister Nir Barkat, opposition leader Yair Lapid, MK Benny Gantz, MK Simcha Rothman, MK Danny Danon and other members of the Knesset from the coalition and opposition, as well as senior business leaders who oppose the reforms.
Last month, Jewish Federations of North America sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid expressing their concerns over aspects of the reforms and urging the two sides to accept President Isaac Herzog’s proposal.
To read the full text of the joint statement issued by the delegation click here.