Status: 12/03/2023 07:16 AM
It was the evening of the tenth Saturday in a row: tens of thousands protested against the planned judicial reform in several Israeli cities. It seems the government is still hoping for speedy adoption.
In Israel, tens of thousands took to the streets again to protest a planned judicial reform – for the tenth consecutive Saturday. According to media reports, more than 100,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv alone and waved the white and blue Israeli flag. Some 50,000 people are said to have taken part in the protests in Haifa and 10,000 in Beersheba. There were also demonstrations elsewhere.
A new protest against judicial reform in Israel
tagesschau24 09:00 AM, 12.3.2023
The protests broke out largely without major incident. In Tel Aviv, police arrested three protesters who were obstructing traffic on the city’s bypass road.
Critics see democracy in danger
Violent protests have continued for weeks against judicial reforms sought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the protesters, the planned law endangers the separation of powers and thus democracy in the country.
Among other things, the new law will allow Parliament to overturn Supreme Court decisions by a simple majority. Thus it would almost completely eliminate its power of judicial review of laws. It also aims to give the government control over the appointment of chief justices. A committee of politicians, judges and members of the Bar Association is currently voting on this.
The government depends on the speed of implementation
Despite calls for amendments to the text of the law, it seems that the most right-wing ruling coalition in the history of Israel, which includes hard-line and far-right parties, is betting on its speedy passage. Daily debates on parts of the judicial reform are scheduled in Parliament from Sunday to Wednesday.
Justice Minister Garev Levin aims to pass key points of reform before the start of the parliamentary recess in early April. Israeli President Isaac Herzog opposed judicial reform and called on the government to halt the project. Herzog spoke of “a danger to the very foundations of our democracy”. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also expressed concern about the “planned restructuring of the rule of law” in Israel.