Israelis take to the streets en masse to reject approval of Netanyahu’s first judicial reform law

Protests were massive in Israel this weekend against controversial judicial reforms promoted by Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government, and they continue on Monday, when a vote is scheduled on one of the key laws in the package, which is rejected by a large part of the population.

On Saturday, more than 550,000 Israelis took to the streets across the country to protest against the reform, and some 20,000 people walked the distance from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem over four days, leaving behind images unseen in the state of Israel’s short existence.

In addition, more than 10,000 reservists – including experts in intelligence, cyberwarfare and elite units – have said they will not volunteer if needed, in protest against the reform, unheard of in a country where the military is one of its staunchest institutions.

“We acted to preserve [al Ejército] Outside of the debate, but because of its intensity in Israeli society, we engage and consistency [de las fuerzas armadas] It was damaged,” Chief of the General Staff Hertz Halevi admitted in a statement reported by Israeli media on Sunday, as quoted by the EFE agency.

In addition to the men in uniform, businessmen are also on the warpath: a forum representing 150 of the country’s most important firms and dozens of companies in the high-tech sector announced that they will go on strike on Monday to “stop this one-sided legislation and start negotiating an agreement,” according to a media statement.

“We must reach agreements that avoid the dramatic damage and disruption of the economy that destroys society, destroys the People’s Army, and threatens the security and future of all of us,” the forum said.

Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, intervened once again and tried to mediate between the Netanyahu-led coalition and the opposition: “This is an extraordinary moment. An agreement must be reached,” said Herzog, who managed to start negotiations between the parties at the end of March, which failed in June.

Netanyahu, from hospital to parliament

Since then, the Prime Minister has decided to promote the reform without the support of the opposition and a large part of the public. Netanyahu even arrived at Israel’s parliament, or Knesset, in Jerusalem today after being discharged early Monday from Sheba Hospital, where he had been hospitalized for more than 24 hours to have a pacemaker implanted.

Netanyahu, 73, was first hospitalized last week for dehydration, according to the official version, but he also underwent heart tests and a decision was made to install a pacemaker.

Since Monday morning, thousands of people have gathered outside the Knesset to protest the vote on the law, which removes the doctrine of reasonableness, which was already approved in the first vote about two weeks ago, with 64 votes in favor and 56 against.

The law reduces the prerogatives of the Supreme Court, which will no longer be able to review and overturn government decisions based on whether they are reasonable, and is one of the fundamental elements of the judicial reform, which, according to most critics, seeks to undermine the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers and represents a “threat” to Israeli democracy.

For this reason, the protesters are ready to intensify their protests to prevent the final approval of the law. There was already a disturbance in front of the Knesset in the morning The police used a water cannon A group blocking access to the building was dispersed and several people were arrested, including Moshe Radman, one of the leaders of the protest. The participants of the sit-in protest are chained to each other to make it difficult for the special forces to break them up.

Source: El Diario





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