Carter Center Condemns Israeli Judicial Overhaul, Calls on International Community to Respond

ATLANTA (July 25, 2023) — The Carter Center is gravely concerned over the Israeli Knesset’s vote to enact legislation that strips the Israeli Supreme Court’s authority to override unreasonable government decisions. This legislation, known as the "reasonableness law," is the first step of an extensive agenda designed to eliminate judicial responsibility to act on the Israeli government's actions. It removes a critical line of defense for vital protections that are not explicitly outlined in the state’s Basic Law. As Israel lacks a constitution, the Basic Law and judiciary are important in maintaining the rule of law and protecting minority rights, including those of Israeli Arab citizens, as well as Muslim and Christian Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

The Carter Center expresses its concern that the legislation, if applied, will undermine the necessary checks and balances essential to a well-functioning democratic society. Furthermore, the proliferation of hundreds of illegal settlements throughout Palestine has blurred the line between Israel and its occupied territories, increasing the risk that Israeli government rulings will endanger all individuals’ rights in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories.

In a democracy, the people's voices form the basis for elected government, and pivotal decisions impacting the nation’s destiny should hinge on extensive consensus.
The Carter Center urges the Israeli government to cease further judicial reforms and honor its people’s request to reevaluate its stance and protect the judiciary's independence. Furthermore, it urges international governments, particularly the U.S. administration and Congress, to review financial support for the current Israeli administration in light of the fact the aid could be used to support additional anti-democratic actions.

We urge a recommitment to democratic ideals, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for the will of the millions of Israelis who oppose this bill.


Contact: In Atlanta, Matthew De Galan,

The Carter Center
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.