ISRAEL: On Saturday, tens of thousands of Israelis protested nationwide for seven straight days ahead of the parliament’s decision to vote on the controversial legal changes as advanced by the government.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government has been implementing the proposed overhaul that would permit the parliament to have a simple majority over the Supreme Court’s decisions, increasing the politicians’ power over the judiciary.
Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the changes are indispensable to take care of the imbalance in power between the elected representatives and Israel’s courts.
Netanyahu said he would talk but would not terminate the legislative process, where the parliament would commence voting on two new bills on Monday. He would also talk with the opposition to reach common ground.
Many people walked through central Tel Aviv chanting slogans with banners that read “democracy.” Amit Melamed, 24, a law student, stated that if the country “won’t be democratic, there’s no point in us staying here.”
Another protester, Nati Ron, said that the government was “aiming at ruining the democracy we’ve had for 75 years,” adding, “This is our country; I fought for it. I lost friends in wars; they didn’t die for a dictatorship. I owe it to them.”
Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition, said in a demonstration in the coastal city of Netanya, “The fact they have a majority in parliament doesn’t mean they can erase the Supreme Court just because the prime minister has been indicted.”
Some of Netanyahu’s critics have stated that the leader was endeavouring to erode the foundation of a judicial system that, according to him, has been targeting him for a long time. Following the November elections, Netanyahu was re-elected as the leader of a coalition of radical right-Jewish groups. Netanyahu denied stepping down in 2019 when he became the first prime minister to be accused while in office.
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