Sunday, June 23, 2024

Israelis protest PM’s “judicial coup” for 21st straight week

Israelis took to the streets on Saturday night for the 21st straight week against the hard-right government's controversial judicial reform plans. It comes days after parliament approved the state budget.

Protesters gathered in major cities, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba, as well as at dozens of junctions and locales, to decry what they perceive as a threat to Israel’s democracy.

The government’s reform proposals would curtail the authority of the Supreme Court and give politicians greater powers over the selection of judges.

In March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced a “pause” to allow for talks on the reforms, which were moving through parliament and split the nation.

Ongoing dialogue produced no major breakthrough, and on Wednesday parliament approved the state budget, with Netanyahu vowing to “continue our efforts to reach understandings as broad as possible on the legal reform.”

Israeli media put the number of participants in the Tel Aviv demonstration at “tens of thousands,” as has occurred on previous occasions.

Netanyahu’s government, a coalition between his Likud party and extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies, argues the changes are needed to rebalance powers between lawmakers and the judiciary.

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