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Before the Knesset vote – Protests against judicial reform in Israel intensify – News

Before the Knesset vote – Protests against judicial reform in Israel intensify – News

  • Despite the mass demonstrations in Israel, the Netanyahu government is pushing ahead with plans to weaken the judiciary.
  • A first bill is scheduled to be presented to parliament on Monday.
  • The protest movement threatens “unprecedented” resistance.

Demonstrations are intensifying against the judicial reform planned by the Israeli government. About 360,000 people gathered across the country for the protests on Saturday ahead of a crucial vote in parliament. According to media reports, there were more than 140,000 demonstrators in Tel Aviv alone.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially halted the reform plans in March after massive pressure, but only tenuously put them back on the political agenda three weeks ago.

Restriction of the Supreme Court scheme

On Monday, part of the judicial reform is due to be submitted to parliament in first reading. In the future, the Supreme Court should not be able to assess the government’s decision as “inappropriate”. Critics fear this will encourage corruption and arbitrary appointments to senior positions.

At the beginning of the year, the appointment of Schas party leader Ari Deri as interior minister due to his criminal past was deemed “inappropriate” by the Supreme Court. As a result, Netanyahu had to kick his close friend out of my shield.

Because Netanyahu’s ruling religious-nationalist coalition has a majority in Parliament, the law is expected to be approved by the end of July. Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is facing bribery charges, speaks of a left-leaning Supreme Court elitist that needs to be reined in.

President Herzog calls for dialogue

Meanwhile, Israeli President Isaac Herzog called on all parties to engage in dialogue again. Not talking to each other is a “mistake of historical proportions”. In his opinion, agreement, also in the dispute over the so-called sufficiency clause, is possible. At the end of March, President Herzog mediated talks between the government and the opposition. However, they did not reach an agreement.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak wrote in Haaretz that Israel was facing the worst crisis in its history and warned that the country was on the verge of becoming a “de facto dictatorship”.

declared massive resistance

The adoption of judicial reform could have an impact on Israel’s security. Hundreds of reservists threaten to be laid off if they do. Dozens of them gathered on Sunday evening in protest in front of the home of Defense Minister Joav Gallant and called on him to oppose the plans.


Protesters block a street in Tel Aviv.

Keystone/AP image, Ohad Zwigenberg

Protest organizers called for a “day of disruption” for Tuesday, and threatened “unprecedented resistance”. It is also said that there is a massive rally at the airport near Tel Aviv. The current protest movement is one of the largest in the history of Israel.

Many high-tech companies, which are the driving force of the economy in Israel, have announced that they will release their employees to participate in the demonstrations.