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Massive crowds of Israelis in Tel Aviv against judicial overhaul

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As hearings scheduled for September are approaching, protests are still occurring in a number of Israeli towns, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa.

An aerial view shows protester during a rally against the Israeli government's judicial overhaul plan in Tel Aviv
An aerial view shows protester during a rally against the Israeli government’s judicial overhaul plan in Tel Aviv. / Photo: AFP

In the most recent demonstration against the hard-right government’s divisive judicial reform proposals, which detractors regard as a danger to democracy, thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv.

“Democracy, democracy,” protesters chanted as they marched on Saturday.


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“We won’t give up until it gets better.”

“Despite months of protests, things are not going the way we wanted as one important part of the judiciary overhaul has been passed a few weeks ago,” protester Ben Peleg, 47, told AFP news agency.

“But if we continue to apply pressure on the streets, there is a possibility that we can still stop these changes.”

Last month, the Israeli parliament voted to limit the so-called “reasonableness” law.

The new legislation curbs judicial review by Israel’s top court of some government decisions, and critics fear it could pave the way to a more authoritarian government.

Israel’s traditional bedrock ally Washington has described parliament’s vote as “unfortunate” and repeatedly raised concern about the political turmoil.

Netanyahu’s coalition government, which includes far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, argues the reforms are necessary to rebalance the relationship between elected officials and the judiciary.

Demonstrators have organised mass protests every Saturday against the far-right coalition government’s judicial overhaul, which was announced in January.

Numerous prominent figures in Israeli politics, the military, security, economy and the judiciary have publicly expressed opposition to the reform plans.

‘Threat is still there’

Opponents accuse Netanyahu, who has been fighting corruption charges in court, of a conflict of interest.

It was the “reasonableness” clause that the Supreme Court cited in a recent high-profile ruling that barred a Netanyahu ally, Aryeh Deri, from serving in the cabinet because of his previous tax evasion conviction.

The amendment of the clause is the first major component of the reform package to become law.

Several petitions have been filed at the Supreme Court, with hearings set to be held in September.

Other proposed changes include allowing the government a greater say in the appointment of judges.

Rallies were also held on Saturday in other Israeli cities, including Haifa, Netanya and Herzliya.

But months of demonstrations – including some in support of the government – have led to fears about widening fissures within Israeli society.

“Israel is being torn apart, and we feel we are on the brink of a civil war,” Peleg, a doctor, said.

“When we go out on the streets to protest, we are afraid of those who are supporting the government… This government needs to be overthrown.”

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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