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Protests in Israel against judicial reform. Former Prime Minister: If they continue this madness, let them not tell us about unity

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Israeli residents took to the streets again on Monday in protest against the justice reform pushed by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Thousands of demonstrators, including representatives of opposition parties, gathered in Jerusalem and other major cities. “If they continue this madness, don’t tell us about unity,” former Prime Minister Yair Lapid told the crowd.

The demonstrators come from all walks of life. Thousands of doctors, representatives of hundreds of companies from the high-tech sector and law firms, students and schoolchildren and many other groups were to come to the protests, the organizers said.

Citizens oppose the plan to reform the justice system. It assumes i.a. 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-seat parliament – the Knesset.

Protests in IsraelPAP/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

Opposition deputies expelled from the session

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On Monday, the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the controversial reform, which means it is one step closer to entering into force. Prior to the committee vote, opposition MPs were forcibly ejected from the chamber after they began chanting “shame” and “disgrace”.

It took place despite President Isaac Herzog’s call to halt legislative work, and the government coalition plans to submit the first provisions of the judiciary reform to a vote in the first reading on Wednesday or Monday, February 20, which was confirmed on Monday morning by the spokesman for Justice Minister Jariw Lewin, the architect of the reform. According to the Jerusalem Post, the vote is likely to take place in a week, giving the parties to the conflict time to try to negotiate.

“There is no right or left, there are bad people versus good people”

– This is not a reform, but a revolution. Reforms are implemented to fix various issues. This one is coming to destroy,” said one of the protesting men.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Khuldaj said in an interview with Channel 13 television that “if Israel it will become a dictatorship, it will return to democracy only after bloodshed.” – Politicians are not interested in trying to reconcile the president. I appeal to every serious person who knows the State of Israel – you must understand that now there is no right or left, only bad people vs. good people people,” Huldai said, referring to President Herzog’s call for compromise.

Yair LapidPAP/EPA/ATEF SAFADI

Khuldai was among tens of thousands of demonstrators who gathered around the Knesset building in Jerusalem on Monday to protest against the planned reform.

“If they continue this madness, don’t tell us about unity. There is no unity as long as one side sets the rules, said the former prime minister, now leader of the opposition, to the gathered crowd Yair Lapid. “Citizens of Israel, we will fight in the streets, we will fight until victory,” Lapid said.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ABIR SULTAN



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