Over 100,000 Israelis in Tel Aviv Protest Proposed Judicial Reform
At least 110,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to protest the government’s planned judicial reforms. The protest held under clear skies eclipsed last weekend’s protest that gathered 80,000 Israelis in the pouring rain. Organizers say the protests will continue every weekend. Prior to the start of the protest on Saturday night, police blocked many of the main roads in Tel Aviv, saying it was meant to maintain public order, while organizers claimed it was meant to suppress turnout.
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, who did not attend last week’s protest, appeared at the Tel Aviv demonstration on Saturday night. “People who love the country have come here today to defend its democracy, to defend its courts, to defend the idea of coexistence and of the common good. There are Israel lovers here who came to demonstrate for a democratic Jewish state according to the values of the Declaration of Independence. We will not give up until we win,” he tweeted from the demonstration.
Thousands more Israelis protested in cities throughout Israel including Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba, Herzliya, and Modi’in. The Jerusalem demonstration was held in front of the prime minister’s official residence and ended with the singing of the national anthem, Hatikvah.
The planned changes to the judicial system include a parliamentary override of High Court of Justice rulings and giving the political branch the power to make the final decision on the appointments of judges.