As it gets ready to move forward with its contentious legislative agenda the following week, protests are held against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right government for the tenth week.
Israelis protested against the government’s proposed judicial reforms on Saturday, marking the tenth week in a row that they have done so. Critics see these plans as a threat to democracy.
The protests occur as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s hard-right administration readies to move forward with its legislative agenda the following week, ignoring calls for a pause to allow for negotiations on the divisive plan.
According to estimates provided by Israeli media, the largest protest, in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, drew about 100,000 protesters. Israeli flags in blue and white were being waived by many of them.
“It is not a reform of the judiciary. “I want Israel to stay a democracy for my kids,” Tamir Guytsabri, 58, who had joined the protest in Tel Aviv, told Reuters. “It’s a revolution that (is) making Israel go to full dictatorship.”
Other towns and cities in the nation of more than nine million people hosted demonstrations. According to Israeli media, the largest protests to date took place in the northern city of Haifa and 10,000 in Beersheba.
In advance of votes, Simcha Rotman, chair of parliament’s law committee, has scheduled daily hearings on portions of the government’s reforms from Sunday through Wednesday. Equity Priest Yariv Levin has said the alliance intends to pass key components of the changes before parliament goes into break on 2 April.
Netanyahu’s administration, which he took office with an alliance of ultra-Orthodox Jewish and extreme-right parties at the end of December, is built on the judicial reform.
The legislation would prevent the Supreme Court from invalidating any amendments to the so-called Basic Laws, Israel’s quasi-constitution, and give the government more weight in the committee that chooses judges. During the first reading, lawmakers have already given their approval to these provisions.
The proposals have been criticized because they are feared to push the nation further into authoritarian rule and give politicians unchecked power.
In addition, a lot of people say that Netanyahu is in favor of the plan to end the current trial against him for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. The PM denied the charges and his desired claim to mediate in the lawful cycle.
In his largely ceremonial capacity, Israeli President Issac Herzog has attempted to facilitate dialogue. On Thursday, he called on the coalition to halt the legislation, describing it as “a threat to the foundations of democracy.”
He described the current political turmoil as a “national nightmare” and warned that if it is not resolved soon, it will result in a “catastrophe.”
A further component of the reforms would grant the 120-member parliament the authority to overturn decisions made by the Supreme Court by a simple majority of 61 votes. The initial protests were initiated by prominent opposition politicians, but they have since expanded to include a variety of civil society activists and organizations.
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