Despite the temporary halt to controversial judicial reform, tens of thousands of people across Israel have once again protested the plans of Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing religious government. The main rally took place in Tel Aviv for the 16th consecutive Saturday. The demonstrators waved Israeli flags and carried protest banners.
“By proceeding with the judicial coup, the government is deepening division in Israeli society, thus harming Israel’s economy and security,” the organizers said. In accordance with this, about 380 thousand people took to the streets throughout the country, of which about 165 thousand were in Tel Aviv. Israeli media estimated the number of participants in the coastal city at about 100,000. There were other marches in the cities of Haifa and Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s religious right-wing government specifically wants to weaken the justice system, and experts warn of serious damage to democracy. The project was put on hold for a few weeks in the face of mass protests at the end of March. So far, there has been no breakthrough in the mediation talks. The summer session of the parliament in Jerusalem begins on April 30. Critics fear the government may then push through the blanket bill in a fast-track measure.
Next week’s protests are expected to overshadow celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding. Opponents of judicial reform announced, on Tuesday evening, the start of “the largest demonstration on the occasion of Independence Day in the history of Israel.” Those left behind have already called on politicians to stay away from the annual festivities.
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