In Israel, more protests against judicial reform have begun, somewhere they are blocking roads

In Israel, more protests against judicial reform have begun, somewhere they are blocking roads

More protests against judicial reform began in Israel, blocking roads somewhere

Demonstration against judicial reform in Haifa, Israel, February 20, 2023.

Jerusalem – Thousands of Israelis are already demonstrating in Tel Aviv and heading to Jerusalem for another protest in front of parliament, which is to vote today in the first reading on part of the controversial judicial reform. It is also being demonstrated in other places in the country, The Jerusalem Post wrote. According to him, in the morning the demonstrators blocked some roads, including the one leading to Ben Gurion International Airport. Groups of protesters also sat in front of the houses of several government MPs in the morning to prevent them from going to parliament.

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According to local media, tens of thousands of people are expected to demonstrate in Jerusalem today, a week ago, 100,000 people protested there for the same reason, which according to AP was the largest demonstration in the country in several years. Today, just like a week ago, anti-government demonstrations are also taking place in other cities. The server of The Times of Israel writes that thousands of parents with their children are demonstrating in front of schools in different parts of the country.

The police in Jerusalem built barriers around the parliament building and increased the deployment of police officers in the streets. Several protesters have already been detained today due to road blockades, wrote The Jerusalem Post.

Parliament is to vote in the afternoon, starting at five o'clock CET, on the first part of the judicial reform. The part concerning the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court is to be approved in the first reading, according to the reform, the government coalition would gain control over the appointment. Another part of the proposal is to prevent the Supreme Court from being able to block laws referred to as “fundamental laws”, that is, those that replace a constitution that Israel does not have, AP recalled.

Critics of the reform also fear that the government will be able to label any legislation as a “fundamental law” and will limit the Supreme Court's influence on it. Some say the reform will also help Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his corruption prosecution. Netanyahu denies guilt in the trials and defends the judicial reform, saying that it is necessary to limit activist judges who, according to him, interfere with the executive power. it is the subject of criticism from a wide spectrum and many fear for Israeli democracy. For example, the former head of Israel's Mossad secret service, Tamir Pardo, said that extensive reforms would move Israel towards a dictatorship.

Also, Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog has previously called on the government to wait before approving the reform and seek a compromise with the opposition. The American ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, also said at the weekend that the government should slow down and seek consensus on the reform, the proposal of which in its current form could threaten the democratic functioning of Israeli institutions.

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