80,000 Demonstrate in Tel Aviv Against Judicial Reform

Before the judicial reform is passed, the media and politicians stir up fears of a dictatorship in the new government.

By Michael Selutin | | Topics: Elections, Supreme Court
Israelis gather in Tel Aviv to protest sweeping judicial reform that Netanyahu insists he has a clear mandate to implement. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

An estimated 80,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square in the pouring rain on Saturday night to protest the government’s plans to reform Israel’s judicial system. Earlier in the week there had been growing tension and harsh words between supporters and opponents of the dramatic move.

The organizers of the protest later stated that, according to their estimates, over 100,000 Israelis took part in the demonstration in Habima Square. Thousands of people also gathered in Haifa and in front of President Isaac Herzog’s official residence in Jerusalem, according to organizers.

During the protests in Jerusalem, police officers reportedly arrested several people waving Palestinian flags. In Tel Aviv, about 200 protesters tried to block the Ayalon Highway but were held back by police.

 

Hysteria, or fascism?

Speaking during the Tel Aviv demonstration, former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni painted a disturbing picture of the new government:

“A government in Israel went to war against the democratic institutions themselves in order to rule without restrictions. No debate, no legitimate criticism, but political seizure of power. No, elections do not give those in power a mandate to destroy democracy itself.

“Poison, lies, mutual slanders, calling anyone who thinks otherwise an enemy; all this so that we crumble to pieces and weaken as a society before the great onslaught, the dismantling of the ramparts of democracy on all fronts.”

Other speakers compared the judicial reform to the Nazi rise to power in Germany.

Israelis demonstrate against a supposed “fascist takeover.” Photo: Flash90

The people have decided

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video on Friday calling on everyone to remain calm. “We discussed this before the elections and we received a clear mandate for it from the public,” Netanyahu explained in the video. “I suggest that everyone calm down and agree to a factual discussion.”

“When they say that the smallest reform is the destruction of democracy, not only is that a false claim, but it also denies the possibility of reaching an understanding through substantive dialogue in the Knesset,” Netanyahu added.

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2 responses to “80,000 Demonstrate in Tel Aviv Against Judicial Reform”

  1. Vernon Ryan says:

    Interesting how the left in Israel sounds just like the left in America. The real destroyers of democracy are those who, say, they want to protect it.

  2. LarryFreeman says:

    No surprise here nothing new to be seen keep walking folks.
    I mean really Tel Aviv is the new Sodom, I’m only surprised that a million didn’t turn out!

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