Netanyahu and the judiciary

Separation of powers

Sir, – Kathy Sheridan describes Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu as doing “what autocrats do” (“Netanyahu’s overreach may prove politically fatal for him”, Opinion & Analysis, March 22nd).

Mr Netanyahu has fought 11 elections as leader of his party and five elections in the last three years alone.

He won nine of those contests, losing office twice in 1999 and 2021 only to subsequently be re-elected.

Could your columnist please identify any other “autocrats” who have faced the electorate so regularly and who have accepted their ejection from office?


President Mahmoud Abbas has governed the West Bank without any elections since 2006. – Yours, etc,


Harolds Cross,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Kathy Sheridan overlooks the very real problems created by Israel’s increasingly activist supreme court.

Israel has no constitution and instead relies on a series of “basic laws”.

However, in the 1990s this changed under the activist supreme court president Aharon Barak when the court, in effect, elevated the “basic laws” into a de facto “constitution” without any democratic agreement.

It then began to undertake judicial reviews of laws passed by the democratically elected Knesset (parliament).

To make matters worse, the supreme court’s generally liberal judges have a veto over who is elevated to join their ranks.

Since then the workload of the supreme court has mushroomed.

In 2022 it ruled on approximately 9,000 cases, which is 50 times the number the US supreme court ruled on in the same year.

Binyamin Netanyahu is correct in arguing that the Israeli supreme court needs drastic reform. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.