Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Top Jewish scientists, Nobel prize winners warn of ‘grave’ global effect of Israel’s judicial overhaul

The group warned that curbing the power of the high court and other institutions will ‘provoke a rift’ with the international scientific community

A group of more than 200 Jewish scientists in diaspora, including nine Nobel laureates, have signed an open letter warning the Israeli government that the proposed judicial overhaul will damage Israel’s academic and scientific standing worldwide. 

The consequences of Israel abandoning core democratic values “would surely be grave, and would provoke a rift with the international scientific community,” the scientists, many of whom serve as professors at prominent universities across the U.S., wrote. 

The Knesset is set to vote as early as Monday on legislation that would give more power to the coalition government on the committee that selects judges and override court rulings on legislation with a parliamentary majority.

More than 250,000 people across Israel have rallied against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in recent weeks. American Jews in several major cities have organized similar though smaller protests. 


The group implored the government “to step back from this precipice” and retract the proposed legislation. 

They warned that the measures if passed “will eviscerate Israel’s judiciary and impede its critical oversight function,” as well as “invite corruption and abuse, and stifle the healthy interplay of core state institutions.” 

Highlighting their Jewish heritage, deep connection to Israel and fierce opposition to global boycotts of the Jewish state, the group also cautioned that the absence of an independent judiciary will significantly increase the threat of academic and trade boycotts and “set back the Israeli scientific enterprise for generations to come.” 

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.