Let cooler minds prevail here


To the editor:

I have been asked by multiple constituents to weigh in on the recent political developments in Israel. The thoughts I am about to express hold true for all liberal democracies.

First, no legislature should have the ability to override a supreme court by a mere majority. Even as a legislator, I recognize that the raw political power of a legislature should never be left unchecked.

Human nature, which is prone to abusing power, demands checks and balances.

Second, no leader should alter the basic structure of government and the basic separation of powers without the broad buy-in of a civil society. Structure change, no matter how meritorious, demands consensus.

I am pleased to see that the “judicial reforms” have been put on pause, and I hope the present government will negotiate in good faith a compromise that preserves the independence of the judiciary. Cooler minds must prevail.

The usual detractors have been rushing to exploit the current controversy in Israel as an excuse for conditioning aid. I reject these cynical attempts empathetically.

The U.S. commitment to programs like Iron Dome — which protects civilians from rocket fire and de-escalates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — should, and must, remain unconditional. Period.

Ritchie Torres

The author is the U.S. Representative, whose district includes parts of greater Riverdale

Ritchie Torres, congress, Israel, judiciary reform, supreme court,