Demonstration in in Israel's Tel Aviv against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and its judicial reform proposal, March 18, 2023.
Tel Aviv – Thousands of people across Israel took to the streets again this evening for the eleventh week continued nationwide protests against the government and its proposed judicial reform. It is already gradually being approved by the parliament. According to critics, the changes will limit democracy in the country. According to AFP, thousands of people in Tel Aviv waved blue and white flags in the colors of Israel, but some also waved rainbow flags of the LGBT community. The crowd marched through the city chanting slogans such as “Save Democracy!” According to Israeli media, protests are taking place in more than a hundred cities and towns.
“He came I'm going to Tel Aviv with my friends to demonstrate against what they call reform,” 47-year-old Ronen told Reuters. He said he wanted to defend democracy against a government he accused of trying to destroy it.
“I am worried not for myself, but for my daughters and grandchildren. We want Israel to remain democratic and liberal and of course Jewish, but we are very worried that our country is becoming a dictatorship,” 64-year-old pensioner Naama told AFP.
< p>Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who returned to the head of government for the sixth time last December, claims that the protesters are trying to oust him. He faces three charges of corruption in the courts, but denies any wrongdoing.
The proposed reform is intended to limit the powers of the Supreme Court and increase the government's influence over the appointment of judges, which critics see as a threat to the independence of the judiciary. Netanyahu claims that his goal is to balance the separation of powers, which he says has been disrupted by the politicization of the judiciary. He has a parliamentary majority with his religious-nationalist coalition allies, but his judicial reform has raised concerns at home and abroad. As the changes move toward ratification, protests have escalated, affecting the economy, including a currency slump. There have been threats from some military reservists to ignore draft orders. President Yitzchak Herzog called for the changes to be postponed and presented an alternative plan on Wednesday, which the prime minister rejected.