Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tens of thousands of Israelis rally for fifth week against Netanyahu’s govt.

For the fifth straight week, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in 20 Israeli cities including Tel Aviv, chanting slogans against Israel's extreme-right cabinet and its menacing agenda.

Huge crowds marched through Tel Aviv’s central street on Saturday, carrying signs that described the regime’s new extremist cabinet as a “threat to world peace,” and condemning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies.

They also rejected Netanyahu’s so-called judicial reforms, which allow the regime’s parliament to overrule any Supreme Court decision with a simple majority of 61 lawmakers in the 120-seat body. They will also change the system through which judges are appointed, giving politicians more control.

The rallies have been raging after Netanyahu, who had already served the regime more than any other prime minister, made a comeback as premier at the head of the cabinet that features hard-right and ultra-Orthodox parties.

The protests have now become a weekly fixture on Saturday evenings since Netanyahu’s new cabinet, which has been dubbed the most right-wing in the regime’s history, took office in late December.

Israel’s former prime minister, Yair Lapid, was also among the crowd in the coastal city of Haifa.

As means of ensuring the political parties’ partnership, Netanyahu has pledged to implement their desired schemes, including fierce advancement of illegal settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

Throughout the rallies, the protesters have nicknamed Netanyahu as “crime minister” — a reference to his indictment for receiving bribe, fraud, and breach of trust, during the twilight of his previous mandate as premier in 2019.

They have also denounced the planned judicial reforms as a vehicle for him to circumvent the repercussions of his corruption scandal.

The prime minister has already been forced to remove a top minister, Aryeh Deri, who leads the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, due to a recent tax evasion conviction.

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