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President Isaac Herzog speaks on Israel's judicial reform

Herzog: 'Israel Is at Edge of Abyss,' Civil War Is A Real Threat

“Those who think that a real civil war, with lives lost, is a line we will not cross, have no idea. Precisely now, 75 years into Israel’s existence, the abyss is at our fingertips,” President Isaac Herzog said in an introduction speech to what he called the “People’s Directive,” a comprehensive document intended to end the current conflict in Israel over the government’s proposed reforms of Israel’s judicial system.

The president did not present the directive itself, choosing instead to make an impassioned speech, during which the document was published online and on social media.

“The last few weeks have been tearing us apart,” the president began. “They are harming Israel’s economy, security, political ties, and especially Israeli cohesion. The family Shabbat meals have become an arena of struggle, friends and neighbors have become rivals. The conflicts are getting worse; The worries, the fears, the anxieties – they are all more tangible than ever,” Herzog said.

The president, however, said that the crisis was also an opportunity. “I truly believe with all my heart that today, we are also facing a major, historic opportunity. An opportunity for balanced, smart, and agreed-upon constitutional regulation of the relations of the branches of government in our Jewish and democratic country.”

Approximately half an hour after the speech ended, the Likud expressed its disapproval. “An attempt to reach an agreement is appropriate, but during the weeks that the coalition representatives held negotiations with the president, the opposition representatives refused to hold any negotiations,” Education Minister Yoav Kisch said in a statement on behalf of the party.

“The outline presented by the president does deal with issues in the reform, but unfortunately it includes key clauses that only perpetuate the existing situation and do not create the necessary minimum balance between the government branches,” Kisch said. (JPost / VFI News)