Reform of the nation’s legal system is a key component of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s agenda, who is facing corruption charges.
To protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to reform the nation’s legal system and weaken the Supreme Court, tens of thousands of Israelis have demonstrated in three cities. The demonstrations on Saturday in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa are a test for Netanyahu and his ultranationalist national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has instructed police to use force if demonstrators block roads or wave Palestinian flags.
According to Israeli media citing the police, despite the cool, rainy weather, at least 80,000 people attended the event in Tel Aviv’s Habima square. Israeli flags and signs reading “Criminal Government,” “The End of Democracy,” and other slogans were carried by protesters, many of whom were sheltered by umbrellas.
In defiance of Ben-Gvir’s demands, there were only a few Palestinian flags on display, according to social media footage. They are attempting to undermine the democratic checks and balances in Israel. Asaf Steinberg, a protester from the Herzliya suburb of Tel Aviv, declared that this would not be successful. “And we’ll fight to the bitter end to preserve Israeli democracy. ”
Restructuring the legal system of the country has become a key component of Netanyahu’s agenda, despite the fact that he is currently facing corruption charges. His right-wing administration, which has only been in power for a little more than two weeks, has proposed measures to undermine the Supreme Court by granting parliament the authority to overturn court rulings with a simple majority vote. Along with lowering the independence of legal advisors, it also wants to give parliament control over judge appointments.
Unelected judges have too much power, according to Netanyahu’s Justice Minister. Those opposed to the plans, however, claim that the changes will weaken Israeli democracy. Leaders of Israel’s opposition, former attorneys general, and the head of the Supreme Court of Israel have all spoken out against the proposal.
The legal modifications might enable Netanyahu to avoid being found guilty of corruption or even completely end his trial. Netanyahu has claimed that the legal system is biased against him ever since he was charged in 2019. Members and supporters of the LGBTQ community have expressed concern over the new government’s plans to implement social reforms and to continue a policy of settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.
According to a reporter who covered the protest in Tel Aviv, the demonstrators were worried that Israel’s far-right government was endangering the country’s democracy. “This is an anti-government demonstration. They are concerned about the Supreme Court’s potential loss of authority because it is a vital component of the country’s long-standing checks and balances system, the speaker said.
“Benjamin Netanyahu, who they claim is a criminal, is the target of a lot of anger here. The fact that he is involved in a legal battle and shouldn’t be Israel’s prime minister is widely advertised around here. Additionally, they have serious concerns about minority rights in Israel, particularly gay rights. They worry that those actions might be undone. ”
Rallies in Jerusalem and Haifa drew thousands of attendees as well.