Israel Protests Enter 10th Week, Here’s Why The Country Is Witnessing One Of Its Biggest-Ever Agitations
Protests in Israel have been going over around 10 weeks now with no sign of it coming down anytime soon. Here we decode the reason behind the protest and what protesters are saying.
ed note–THIS is the reason that SVB was brought down, as a threat to both the US and to those ‘leftie’ Israelis who are standing in the way of what Netanyahu and his Likud are planning to do–
INITIATE WWIII AND ARMAGEDDON
The streets of Israel are filled with people for the tenth week now as it witnesses one of the biggest ever protests in its history. The agitation has been going on now for over two months posing a challenge to the rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Al Jazeera reported that around 500,000 people attended protest rallies on Saturday, marking it one of the biggest in Israel’s history.
They are protesting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to curb the powers of the country’s Supreme Court under the gambit of judicial reform.
The far-right government of Netanyahu, who became Israel’s PM again last year, is trying to enforce its agenda of a judicial modification which many protesters say is an attempt to ‘end democracy in Israel’.
Here’s Why Israelis are on the streets and protesting against proposed judicial reforms
The Netanyahu-led Israeli government is attempting to do a judicial overhaul with an aim to give the elected government supremacy over the judiciary like decisive influence over the choice of judges, and limit the ability of the Supreme Court to rule against the executive or strike down legislation, reported the BBC.
According to reports, the proposed legislation would give more weight to the government in the committee that selects judges. It added that the legislation would also deny the country’s top court the right to strike down any amendments to so-called Basic Laws, Israel’s quasi-constitution.
Al Jazeera reported that the provisions of the legislation have already been endorsed by legislators at first reading.
Another ‘reform’ that has been proposed is that it would give the 120-member parliament power to overrule any Supreme Court decision with a simple majority of 61 votes. The government has so far stood firm despite the massive uproar over the proposed reforms. They allege that the protests are being fuelled by political opponents.
Some critics are of the opinion that the changes will destroy the country’s system of checks and balances and concentrate power in the hands of the prime minister and his allies. Whereas some claim that Netanyahu is taking out his personal grievance as he is on trial for corruption. On all counts, the Prime Minister of Israel has denied any wrongdoing.
As per Al Jazeera’s report, Israeli President Issac Herzog on Thursday called on the governing coalition to halt the legislation, dubbing it ‘a threat to the foundations of democracy’.
Justice Minister Yariv Levin has said the coalition plans to pass key elements of the reforms before parliament goes into recess on April 2. The report suggests that the judicial overhaul is a cornerstone of Netanyahu’s administration, an alliance with ultra-Orthodox Jewish and extreme-right parties which took office in late December.
What Protesters Say
The issue at hand has severely affected the country with even reservists – the backbone of Israel’s military – threatening to refuse to serve as a way of showing their opposition. Last Monday, in an unprecedented move, dozens of reserve fighter pilots of an elite Israeli Air Force squadron denied reporting for training.
Amid increasing protest, the agitators on Thursday blocked roads and attempted to stop Netanyahu from flying out of the country.
‘I’m demonstrating because the measures that the new government wants to take represent a real and immediate threat to Israeli democracy,’ one protester, tech entrepreneur Ran Shahor, told the AFP in Tel Aviv.
‘It’s not a judicial reform. It’s a revolution that [is] making Israel go to full dictatorship and I want Israel to stay a democracy for my kids,’ Tamir Guytsabri told Reuters.
According to the Times of Israel, retired justice Hila Gerstel said she supports ‘repairs’ to the judiciary but not its ‘destruction’.
‘For 24 years I served in the judicial system, and along with all its virtues I am well aware of its shortcomings. I established the audit commission, I was one of the most vocal voices for reforming the system and I criticized the conduct of the state prosecution. Precisely because of this, I stand here today and say there is room for repairs, there is no room for destruction,’ reported the Times of Israel citing Channel 12 news.