< /p> Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Tel Aviv on April 29, 2023 to demonstrate against the judicial reform promoted by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Tel Aviv – In Israel, tens of thousands of people took to the streets again to demonstrate against the judicial reform promoted by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to local media estimates, 200,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv alone. In this city, protests have been taking place for the 17th week, that is, since the beginning of January. According to The Times of Israel, Israelis protested in 150 places in the country against a series of laws that are supposed to give the government more power in appointing judges and limit the powers of the Supreme Court.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, speaking on behalf of the Socialist International (SI), supported the Israeli protesters through a video posted on Twitter. It unites more than a hundred left-wing political parties from all over the world, and Sánchez has been its chairman since last year. “Dear Israeli friends, we as the Socialist International have always fought for freedom, equality, justice and democracy,” Sánchez said. “Dear friends, you will always find support in the fight for democracy with us,” the Spanish Prime Minister also said in English.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen responded to Sánchez's message. “Opponents of reform know no bounds, they do not hesitate to damage (Israel's) international standing,” Cohen said on Twitter, according to the Haaretz daily. “No foreign entity will make decisions for the Israeli people, and I'm sure that was not Sánchez's intention,” added Kohen, who is a member of the coalition government that also includes far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties.
The summer session of Israel's parliament is set to begin on Sunday, where the ruling coalition can continue to approve the judicial reform it began in February. Despite criticism from broad sections of society and repeated calls from President Yitzchak Herzog to stop the reform, the government continued to approve it. It was only at the end of March that she announced the suspension of the process, which the prime minister did after several MPs from his Likud party, including Defense Minister Joav Galant, called on him to do so. Because of this, he earned a notice of dismissal from his post, which Netanyahu ultimately canceled.
At the demonstration in Tel Aviv, for example, the Israeli Nobel Prize winner for chemistry Aaron Ciechanover spoke, who warned that the judicial reform would also harm scientific research. “Science stands on the foundations of academic freedom, which cannot be separated from democratic and cultural freedom,” Ciechanover said. According to him, there is a threat that Israeli scientists will leave the country, and those who live abroad will not return to their homeland. “After economic damage and damage to international relations and national security, research and science will come next,” he added.
Reservists of the Israeli army have also been protesting against the reform for several weeks, many of whom have threatened to refuse military service if the government implements the changes. . Seven hundred elite military reservists sent Netanyahu a letter warning of the collapse of the army's reserve forces if the government refuses to negotiate with the opposition, and gave an ultimatum by May 20. So far, several meetings between the government and the opposition have been held, but without a general result.
While hundreds of thousands of people have already gathered at anti-government demonstrations since January, this week was the first time a larger demonstration was held in support of justice reform. About 200,000 government supporters came to it.