Israelis still on the streets against judicial reform

In Israel, the protest against Benjamin Netanyahu is not running out of steam. Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, for the 21st consecutive week, to protest against the controversial plan to reform the judicial system. Demonstrations also took place in other cities, such as Haifa (north) and Beersheva (south).

Protesters have gathered every week since January both to denounce the reform and to shout down the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, charged with corruption in a series of cases. The latter announced on March 27 a “pause” in the project to give a “chance (…) to dialogue”, but the mobilization against the reform remains strong.

Netanyahu wants ‘as broad an agreement as possible’

“We will continue our efforts to reach as broad an agreement as possible on judicial reform,” said the Prime Minister on Wednesday, who welcomed the adoption of the finance law for 2023-2024 by Parliament.

The police do not provide official figures on the number of participants in the demonstrations, but the Israeli media put the number of participants in the demonstration on Saturday in Tel Aviv at “tens of thousands”. Among them, Israel Alva, a technology entrepreneur, believes it is important to demonstrate against judicial reform, because “our DNA is democratic and liberal. We want a life of freedom and not to be told what to do”.

For the government, one of the most right-wing in the history of Israel, the reform of the judicial system aims, among other things, to rebalance powers by reducing the prerogatives of the Supreme Court, which the executive considers politicized, in favor of the Parliament. Critics of the reform believe, on the contrary, that it risks opening the way to an illiberal or authoritarian drift.

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