ontario news watch

Joly calls out Israel judiciary reform and ‘unilateral actions’ that undermine peace

OTTAWA — Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly is pushing Israel to drop its reform of the country’s judiciary after two months of mass protests.

An official readout of a conversation Joly had with her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen says that she “underscored Canada’s support of democracy, the rule of law and the institutions that uphold them.”

A Global Affairs Canada source familiar with the conversation says Joly specifically noted Israel’s judicial reform and said the country should only implement changes supported by the public.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far rejected compromises aimed at resolving the standoff over his plans to overhaul the country’s legal system by allowing the country’s parliament to overturn Supreme Court decisions.

The proposed change, which has been rebuked by U.S. President Joe Biden, would concentrate power for Netanyahu’s parliamentary coalition, which he argues is necessary to counter what he deems to be excessive reach by unelected judges.

Joly also called out “unilateral actions that jeopardize efforts for peace,” such as Israel’s expansion of settlements that are illegal under international law.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2023.

— With files from The Associated Press.

Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press

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