Israelis took to the streets on Saturday to protest the right-wing government’s plans to limit the powers of the Supreme Court. The demonstrations have been going on for 10 weeks. According to organizers, Saturday’s demonstrations attracted half a million people.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes his goal is to balance powers. According to the Times of Israel, the reform would give the government complete control over the appointment of judges and prevent the High Court of Justice, as the highest court, from reviewing constitutional laws, concentrating power in the hands of the government.
Reuters quoted Tamir Getsabri, 58, who was among the demonstrators in Tel Aviv, as saying, “This is not judicial reform. This is a revolution that leads Israel to a complete dictatorship, and I want Israel to remain democratic for my children.” .
Up to half a million people are on the streets
The protests were mostly peaceful. Inspector General of Police Yaakov Shabtai made a televised statement in which he withdrew from plans to change the position of Tel Aviv police chief. It was expected that the would-be new president would suppress the protests more brutally.
Protest organizers say there were half a million people on the streets of Israeli cities on Saturday. The Times of Israel says there must be at least 300,000 of them, 200,000 of them in Tel Aviv alone.
“I am here to protest against law reform and to protest against our prime minister, whom we call the minister of crime,” the newspaper quoted Miri Lahat as saying.
Reservists refuse calls
Prime Minister Netanyahu, who returned to office for a sixth term in late December, said the demonstrations were aimed at toppling his government. There are allegations of corruption against the prime minister himself, but he himself maintains that he is innocent.
The Knesset will deal with the controversial bill next week. Reuters reported that some military reservists announced after the law was passed that they would not obey the orders of the authorities and would not respond to the army’s call.
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