Israeli Protest Leaders Call for Nationwide Strike Over Judicial Reforms
The leaders of Israel’s protests over the government’s planned judicial reforms plans are calling for a nationwide strike for Monday, when the first parliamentary votes on the controversial legislation are set to take place.
The reforms include a clause that would allow the country’s parliament, the Knesset, to override a court decision with a simple majority, with parliament able to reinstate laws that the court has already revoked. Courts would also be barred from using a test of “reasonability” in order to revoke government decisions.
Greater weight would be given to politicians in the appointment of judges, and ministers would be allowed to appoint their own legal advisers for their ministries. Currently, ministerial legal advisers are professional civil servants.
The leaders of the protests, which have taken place every Saturday night in multiple Israeli cities since the plans were announced, say that dozens of companies and civil society groups, are planning to take part in the strike, the Times of Israel reported.
“This is the most important struggle for the state — the struggle for the independence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” they said. Opponents of the reforms say that they threaten the democratic nature of the state and put control of the country entirely in the hands of the political echelon, with no judicial oversight.
Members of Israel’s renowned high-tech sector have already taken to the streets to protest the planned reforms, which Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin has vowed will go ahead despite calls for lengthy consideration and debate by academics, the opposition and President Isaac Herzog.