Jerusalem (BLAZETRENDS).- Israeli companies have announced their intention to close on Tuesday, when massive demonstrations are being called across the country against the controversial judicial reform, while calls to call another general strike intensify and the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warns about the consequences of civil disobedience.
The Israeli company BIG, a chain of shopping centers, announced today that it will close all its establishments on Tuesday; and dozens of firms in the high-tech sector have given their workers that day off so they can attend the demonstrations in a new “day of anger”, according to the protest movement.
“The people of Israel do not want a dictatorship, and they do not want dictatorial and dangerous legislation that will collapse the economy, harm security and destroy the people,” the protest leaders said today about this new call “as never seen before In Israel”.
They reject a reform against judicial independence
The Knesset (Parliament), where Netanyahu’s right-wing government has a large majority, is expected to approve on Monday, in a first reading of three, the bill that annuls the doctrine of reasonableness, which allows the Supreme Court to overturn a decision government based on whether it is reasonable or not; one of the pillars of judicial reform that seeks to undermine the independence of Justice.
“This legislation is another step for dictatorship and a fatal blow to economic certainty in Israel. It will jeopardize our existence as a leading company in Israel. When the country is shaking and torn from within, we cannot stand by,” BIG said in a statement.
For their part, a dozen companies from the thriving technology sector – which will also go on strike on Tuesday – applauded BIG’s decision, promised to buy their supplies at group stores, and encouraged more large companies to “show courage”. and follow the steps of that firm.
Along with the tech companies and BIG, more than a hundred academic staff and students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem declared their support for the protests in an open letter published on Sunday; while opposition leader Yair Lapid urged Israel’s largest union, Histadrut, to declare a general strike.
“It has to be part of the protests. The rights of workers will be harmed,” Lapid said in an interview on official Army radio.
Large demonstrations are expected on Tuesday
At the end of March, when the streets caught fire because Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for openly calling for a halt to judicial reform, Hisradrut called a general strike that forced the prime minister to freeze the processing of that legislation and open a dialogue. with the opposition, which broke up last month when the government expressed its intention to go ahead unilaterally with the plan.
The demonstrations on Tuesday will begin with road and highway closures throughout the country, with the idea of causing riots and disruptions; They will continue at the Ben Gurion International Airport, and will culminate in front of the official residence of the Prime Minister in Jerusalem and on Kaplan Avenue in Tel Aviv, the epicenter of the protests that have been held without interruption for 27 consecutive weeks and have been revitalized in the latter.
“If the government does not stop, the whole country will stop,” said these groups today, which brought together more than 180,000 people in Tel Aviv this Saturday and hundreds of thousands of others in the rest of the country.
Netanyahu warns against civil disobedience
On the call of the anti-reform groups to paralyze the country, Netanyahu today requested a report from the Prosecutor’s Office on how these incidents involve “violations of the law that violate the basic rights of millions of citizens”, and warning about the dangers of civil disobedience. .
“Today the Government has asked the Attorney General’s Office and security forces about what policies to apply in cases of threats and attacks on elected officials, calls for civil rebellion and disobedience to the law, road blockades and illegal strikes,” said the first minister in his weekly meeting with his cabinet.
While the far-right wing of the government calls for a strong hand against the protesters and considers that they receive favorable treatment, Netanyahu indicated that “the right to demonstrate within the framework of the law is sacrosanct” but condemned the “violence, the blockade of the main arteries transportation, disturbances at the airport, calls not to pay taxes, harassment of public figures or calls for riots”
“The selective application of the law is a mortal wound for democracy and the rule of law,” he added.
Thousands of reservists against judicial reform
Meanwhile, thousands of Israelis, most of them Army reservists, demonstrated last night in front of the house of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, to ask him to intercede again to request the stoppage of the controversial judicial reform promoted by the Government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Until 03:00 in the morning (0000 GMT) thousands of people gathered in the northern city of Amikam, while anti-reform activists, including reservist groups, have vowed to intensify their protests to force the government to bury that legislation definitively. , which seeks to undermine the independence of justice and the separation of powers.
“Together we will pin our hopes on the Defense Minister, who has already shown that, in obedience to his conscience, he will not allow Israel’s security to be damaged and the nation to be destroyed,” the Brothers in Arms collective said in a statement. ”, which brings together reservists against the reform.
strong social divide
“The social division is deeper than ever and the government coup will destroy the people’s army,” lamented the former head of the Shin Bet Ami Ayalon last night.
“You owe your ministry to us and to the hundreds of thousands who have taken to the streets. You have chosen your loyalty to Israel’s security over loyalty to Netanyahu in the past and we hope you will do so again,” Ayalon urged Gallant.
Banners unfurled at the protest read: “The legislative process must stop,” citing a line from Gallant’s March 25 speech.
Gallant, the first government official to openly express these differences, then cited a “tangible danger” to security, and three months later, given the government’s intention to go ahead with the reform, the military and reservists have once again written letters announcing his intention not to report for duty or training.
Gallant’s public speech in March angered Netanyahu, who fired him the next day; provoking the most massive protests since the reform was announced – more than 700,000 people took to the streets throughout the country – and a general strike was called.
This forced the prime minister to announce that he was freezing the reform to open a dialogue with the opposition and seek a consensus on the matter, in addition to annulling Gallant’s dismissal.
However, negotiations with the opposition broke down in June due to the lack of agreements and Netanyahu announced that they would go ahead with the reform unilaterally, which has revitalized the entire protest movement.