Thousands of people demonstrated in Israel this Saturday, 18, for the 11th week in a row, against a controversial judicial reform promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which limits the powers of the Supreme Court.
According to local media, protests were recorded in more than 100 parts of the country, including Haifa (north), Jerusalem and Beersheba (south).
In Tel Aviv, a crowd gathered in Dizengoff Square, carrying Israeli flags and the rainbow symbol, representing the LGBTQIA+ community, according to an AFP journalist.
“Save democracy!”, they shouted in the middle of the streets of the city center.
Understanding Israel’s Judicial Reform
Protesters oppose a proposed judicial reform bill that would allow lawmakers to overturn Supreme Court decisions with a simple majority of 61 of the 120-member House.
Some of its provisions were approved on Tuesday (14) in a first reading in Parliament.
Netanyahu’s government, the most right-wing in the country’s history, argues that reforms are needed to limit judiciary interference.
Opponents, on the other hand, argue that the changes are a threat to liberal democracy, as they weaken the controls exercised by the Judiciary.
They also fear that the reform will prevent an eventual conviction of Netanyahu, who has been accused of corruption.
“I’m worried, not for myself, but for my daughters and grandchildren (…) We want Israel to remain democratic and liberal, Jewish of course, but liberal, and we are very worried that (the country) will become a dictatorship,” he says. Naama Mazor, 64 years old.
For Sagiv Galan, the government “tries to destroy civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ (community) rights and everything democracy fights for”, he says.