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Billionaire Arthur Dantchik Distances Himself from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Judicial Reforms

Jewish-American billionaire Arthur Dantchik is no longer on board with the controversial judicial reforms being promoted by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a statement released to Israel’s Calcalist, the billionaire said he would no longer be giving his financial support to The Kohelet Policy Forum, a political organization that supports the policies of Netanyahu’s government.

Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that its judicial reforms are intended to restore a “balance” to Israel’s democracy. He feels that for decades Israel’s courts have taken too much power for themselves at the expense of the democratically elected Knesset. His critics, however, see this as the first stage of an effort to undo democracy in Israel and compare it to what happened recently in countries like Poland and Hungary.

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Arthur Dantchik’s announcement came after Israel’s government pushed through the first part of its judicial reform plan called the “reasonableness” clause, an amendment to an existing basic law that put limits on what sort of reasons Israel’s Supreme Court can use if it chooses to overturn a law passed by the Knesset.

“Throughout my life, I have supported a diverse array of organizations that promote individual liberties and economic freedoms for all people. Nevertheless, when a society becomes dangerously fragmented, people must come together to preserve democracy. I stopped donating to think tanks in Israel, including the Kohelet Policy Forum. I believe what is most critical at this time is for Israel to focus on healing and national unity,” explained Arthur Dantchik in a statement.

Massive protests have rocked Israel since January when Justice Minister Yariv Levin revealed the government’s plans to alter the nature of Israel’s judicial system. The government’s judicial reform plan would greatly curtail the power of Israel’s Supreme Court to nullify legislation passed by the Knesset and also limit the authority of Israel’s attorney general. The opposition charges this would harm Israel’s democracy, eroding foreign confidence in the country and hurting its economy. And this is why the country is now on the brink of what some are describing as the biggest societal clash in Israel’s history.

The Kohelet Policy Forum, a Jerusalem-based, non-partisan think-tank founded in 2012, says it is dedicated to promoting the values of individual liberty and free-markets, Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and representative democracy.

Arthur Dantchik is the co-founder and managing director of Susquehanna International Group, a Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based financial services firm founded in 1987. He is also a member of the board of directors of ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of social media website TikTok and Dantchik’s net worth is estimated at as much as $7.5 billion.



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