MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. The United States strongly influences the situation inside Israel and its role in masterminding mass protests in the country cannot be ruled out, the board chairman of the Foundation for the Development and Support of the Valdai discussion club, Andrey Bystritsky, told TASS on Monday.
"It would be an oversimplification to say the protests in Israel are a result of direct US impact. However, it is obvious that the United States’ influence on the current situation inside Israel is strong. Certain parts of the US elite are biased towards the current leader of Israel. This is also a hard fact. As one of the factors for the current situation in the country US influence is not ruled out," he said.
Bystritsky believes that the current situation is caused rather by internal factors. Israeli society is tired. It has long been split. The country has been unable to form a stable government for many years. Elections have to be called now and then.
"It is clear that the content of this reform of the judiciary as such cannot cause such a protest. The way I see it, this is an effect of psychological fatigue and annoyance within Israeli society, which, undoubtedly, is being fueled by a certain kind of ties between part of the Israeli elite and the United States," the analyst said.
The protest demonstrations in Israel are well organized, he believes, and this indicates that there are experienced string-pullers behind them.
"I have no doubt about this. Whether they are directly connected with some US groups is hard to say for sure, but in all likelihood they are connected. The range of ties between the US and Israel is vast. There are very influential pro-Israeli lobbyists in the US. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an independent and controversial political figure. A large part of the Israeli and US establishment are critical of him, so logical conclusions are easy to derive," he added.
Bystritsky also explained that to a certain extent the impact on the internal situation is due to the fact that a certain segment of Israeli society and the world community connected with Israel are "slightly to the left of the current government."
"In this sense, there may be some influence from the US Jewish community, at least, in terms of pressure on Netanyahu," he added.
Protests in Israel began in January after Netanyahu's government unveiled plans for a judicial reform that would limit the powers of the Supreme Court and let the executive branch control the selection of judges. The opposition warns that this will undermine the basics of democracy. Netanyahu argues that the reform will only balance the powers of the three branches of government and make the entire political system more democratic. Protests by the opponents of reforming the judicial system escalated on March 26, when Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Galant for his public calls for suspending the government’s plans.