Crowds of Israelis took part in a Saturday demonstration in Tel Aviv against plans to reform the judiciary put forward by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the protesters, the proposed solutions threaten the independence of the courts. More than 100,000 people may have attended the demonstration, according to local police.
Protests in Israel against the reform of the judiciary have been going on for three weeks now. The crowd that gathered on Saturday is larger than last week’s demonstration, which was attended by 80,000 people. people, noted The Times of Israel.
“It’s our right to scream”
Former defense minister and protest leader Moshe Yaalon, speaking to the gathered, called the government of the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu criminal dictatorship. – A country where the prime minister will appoint all judges? There is a name for it: dictatorship.
Former Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces Beni Ganc, who was present at the demonstration, said that “Netanyahu should be brought before the Supreme Court, and Arieh Deri (Minister of Interior and Health – ed.) should be released.”
Avi Himi, president of the Israel Bar Association, also attended the demonstration. “You’ve never been given a mandate to change the system, you’ve never been given a mandate to destroy democracy,” he said. “It’s our right to shout, our duty is to shout, that’s how it is in a democracy,” Himi added.
Government reform of the judiciary
Netanyahu’s plan includes increasing the government’s control over the process of selecting judges of the supreme court, as well as the ability to overturn the rulings of this court by a majority of 61 votes in the 120-member Knesset (parliament).
Critics say the proposed reforms will cripple the independence of the judiciary, foster corruption, restrict minority rights, and rob the Israeli judicial system of the credibility it needs to fend off war crimes accusations abroad. Among those opposing the reforms are the President of the Supreme Court and the country’s Attorney General.
Main photo source: EPA/ABIR SULTAN