Israeli Nobel laureate says judicial overhaul plan would mark ‘the end of

Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Daniel Kahneman said in an interview Sunday that he is deeply concerned about the future of the country — even more so than he was during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

“From my perspective, it’s almost the end of the world,” he said in an interview with Channel 12 news. “It’s the end of the country as I know it.”

Kahneman, 88, said he has been thinking to himself about “whether I was more worried in 1973. And the answer was I was less worried…. Today, I am more worried. I’m worried for the essence of the state.”

In 1973, Israel was taken by surprise by attacks launched on multiple fronts by Arab armies on the holy day of Yom Kippur, inflicting significant casualties and a major psychological blow on the country.

But today, said Kahneman — who currently lives in New York City — the government’s plans to radically overhaul the judicial system would make Israel “not the country in which I grew up, and not the country in which I want my grandchildren to live.”

The prominent Israeli economist and psychologist won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

Then-US president Barack Obama awards Daniel Kahneman the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 20, 2013, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Kahneman told Channel 12 news that the moment “the executive authority will supersede the judicial authority… that’s the end of democracy. There is no doubt.” Such a move, he said, would bring Israel in line with Hungary, Poland, and Turkey — “dictatorships that impersonate democracies.”

The Nobel prize winner said that stripping power from Israel’s judicial system was just the start of a slippery slope that would see harm to journalists and then “to individual freedoms. That’s the direction we’re heading in.”

He rejected any claims that the government’s planned shakeup of the judicial system is relatively minor: “This isn’t a small change, it’s a huge revolution. It’s a revolution that changes the nature of the country, from a working democracy to something that is not a democracy, that is pretending to be a democracy.”

On the economic front, Kahneman noted that an independent judicial system is necessary “to prevent corruption, and to allow the economy to develop. Modern, democratic economies are reliant on the judicial system.” Such changes will make “the State of Israel less attractive” in the eyes of the world and to investors, he said.

The government’s radical overhaul plan “turns the State of Israel from something that you can be proud of to something that is a little uncomfortable to be linked to.”

The professor’s comments to Channel 12 echoed similar remarks he made in an interview with The Marker published last week. Kahneman told the financial newspaper that the judicial shakeup signified “the end of Israeli democracy.”

Protesters against the…

Read More: Israeli Nobel laureate says judicial overhaul plan would mark ‘the end of

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Live News

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.