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Thousands of Israelis in the streets of Tel Aviv against the reform of the judicial system

Published on : 02/25/2023 – 22:20Modified : 02/25/2023 – 22:21

The movement protesting the justice reform continues in Israel, with a new rally on Saturday in Tel Aviv. Thousands of Israelis demonstrated in the evening to defend “democracy”, after the adoption by Parliament at first reading of two key provisions of the reform.

For the eighth week in a row, several thousand Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv on the evening of Saturday February 25 to protest against the very controversial reform of the judicial system wanted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and which they consider to be detrimental to democracy.

This new event comes after the adoption by Parliament at first reading on Tuesday of two key provisions of the reform.

The first changes the process for appointing judges and the second aims to prevent the Supreme Court from invalidating any new fundamental law passed by Parliament. The introduction of an “override” clause allowing parliament to overrule certain Supreme Court decisions by a simple majority is another contested provision of the draft.

“Democracy, democracy!” or “We will not give up”, chanted the demonstrators in the center of Tel Aviv, in the midst of a cloud of Israeli flags.

“Someone has to put the brakes on the government”

“We are fighting for our country, for democracy, for equal rights,” Ronit Peled, from Hod Hasharon, north of the Israeli metropolis, told AFP.

“Someone has to stop the government, they’re going to control our lives. We’re scared of becoming a fascist country,” said the 68-year-old pensioner, who affixed a sticker on her sweater that reads ” Attached to the Constitution”.

>> To read also: Reform of justice in Israel: “If Netanyahu persists, the movement could become radicalized”

The reform project was announced in early January by the government, formed in December by Benjamin Netanyahu with far-right parties and ultra-Orthodox Jewish formations.

According to its detractors, the text, by aiming to reduce the influence of the judiciary in favor of political power, threatens the democratic character of the State of Israel.

No change in sight

But Benjamin Netanyahu and his Minister of Justice Yariv Levin consider it necessary to restore a balance of power between elected officials and the Supreme Court, which the Prime Minister and his allies consider politicized.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, on Tuesday called on Israel to suspend its reform, worried about its consequences in terms of human rights and the independence of justice.

The demonstrations, which generally denounce the policy of the government, do not seem for the moment to influence the determination of Benjamin Netanyahu and his majority.

The opposition, including its centrist leader Yair Lapid, has repeatedly accused Benjamin Netanyahu of wanting to serve his personal interests with this reform.

Benjamin Netanyahu being himself tried for corruption in several cases, his critics believe that in the event of adoption of the reform, he could use it to break a possible judgment coming to condemn him.

With AFP

Source: France 24

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