Up to 100,000 Israelis demonstrated in Jerusalem for controversial judicial reform – right-wing religious politicians have called for a “demonstration of millions”. Opponents of reform fear that reform will be decided soon.
Tens of thousands of supporters of Israel’s controversial judicial reform demonstrated in front of the parliament in Jerusalem. They waved Israeli flags. Posters reading “Fix Now” or “You Will Not Steal The Elections From Us” can be seen in the photos. Israeli media estimated the number of participants at more than 100,000.
Several politicians from the right-wing religious government around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously called for a “million demonstration”. “I am deeply moved by the tremendous support from the national camp that flocked to Jerusalem tonight,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
Criticism of the reform suspension
The organizers organized shuttle buses around the country. According to media reports, the protests were also directed against Netanyahu’s decision about a month ago to temporarily suspend the reform project after massive counter-protests.
Netanyahu’s coalition wants to reduce the influence of the Supreme Court. The court is accused of excessive interference in political decisions. In the future, it should be possible for Parliament to overturn its decisions by a simple majority. In addition, it would give the government more influence in appointing judges.
Critics see Israeli democracy in danger and warn of a national crisis. Efforts to reach a compromise have so far been unsuccessful.
Opponents of reform feared Fast track action
The summer session of the House of Representatives begins on Sunday. Critics of the reform fear that the government will then be able to move forward with its plans in the fast track. Netanyahu’s coalition holds a majority of 64 of the 120 seats in parliament.
Justice Minister Garev Levin justified the plans at the rally: “No more inequality, no one-sided justice system, no court whose judges would be above the Knesset and above the government,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
At the same time, he accused the opposition of opposing the compromise. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich promised immediately: “The people are asking for legal reform and they will get legal reform.”