Thousands protest against judicial reform in Israel in front of Parliament

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Global Look Press - Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
Global Look Press – Ilia Yefimovich/dpa

In front of the Israeli Parliament, mass protests continue against amendments to the laws governing the work of the country’s judiciary.

Express disagreement with the proposed government Benjamin Netanyahu Thousands of people came up with the reform project. Many of them carried state flags and banners reading “Save Israel’s Democracy” and “The Whole World is Watching”, some of the demonstrators chanted: “Shame! A shame!”. In addition, protests were also held in other localities across the country. In total, according to local media, on the eve of the streets of Israeli cities there were more than 80 thousand protesters.

Many Israeli social institutions and companies, including manufacturing and legal, allowed their employees to join the nationwide strikes. The government, in turn, is trying in every possible way to prevent the protests. In particular, the Minister of Education of Israel Yoav Kish said that teachers who did not come to work would not be paid, and students would be marked as truants.

According to local media, only large-scale public participation in demonstrations can change the government’s plans. It is noteworthy that the country’s president also spoke out against proposals to reform the judiciary, who, in a televised address, urged not to submit the bill to the first reading and noted that Israel was “on the verge of legal and social collapse.”

However, the Knesset Constitutional Committee voted earlier to send the first part of the draft to the plenum for the first reading. At the same time, the meeting was marked by a major scandal, during which at least three opposition deputies were forcibly thrown out of the door – one of them, before leaving the hall, said that in this way the legislators would “burn the country”, talking about the planned reforms.

Protests over the proposed amendments have been going on since last year. The reason is the attempts of the country’s government to “subdue” the judicial system: if the reforms are successful, the authorities will be able to influence the appointment of members of the High Court of Justice, which has the right to overrule the decisions of the Parliament and the Cabinet.

Changes are needed, Netanyahu argues, to “restrain” judges who allegedly exceed their authority and interfere in the political life of the country. However, many observers believe that this is how the prime minister is trying to protect himself – now several criminal cases are being launched against him on charges of corruption and breach of trust.

Earlier, the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the appointment of the leader of the right-wing Shas party as a minister. Aryeh Deri. Netanyahu nominated him as a candidate for the post of head of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but in the end, the prime minister had to fire Deri: the official had a previous conviction for tax evasion.

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