Israelis rally for fifth week against Netanyahu’s judicial plans | Benjamin Netanyahu News

Tens of thousands of people braved heavy rain in Tel Aviv to protest against the government’s plan to weaken Israel’s Supreme Court.

Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered for fifth week of protests against controversial judicial change proposed by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Protesters in downtown Tel Aviv defied heavy rain to demonstrate Saturday, carrying blue and white Israeli flags and chanting slogans against Mr. Netanyahu’s justice minister.

Dov Levenglick, a 48-year-old software engineer, told Reuters news agency in Tel Aviv: “I am here tonight to protest Israel’s transition from a democracy to an autocracy.

“It’s a disgrace, it won’t stand.”

The proposed changes, which the government says are needed to limit excessive access by judges, have attracted fiercely opposed from groups including lawyers and concern business leaders, deepening political divisions already deep in Israeli society.

Critics say Israel’s democracy will be ruined if the government succeeds in pushing ahead with the plans, which would tighten political control over judicial appointments and limit the rights of Supreme Court in overturning government decisions or Knesset laws.

Hadar Segal, 35, told Reuters: “They want to tear up Israel’s justice system, they want to tear up Israel’s democracy, and we’re here every week in all weather… to fight it and fight it out. fight for Israel’s democracy”. Tel Aviv.

Local media reported protests in about 20 cities across the country.

Among the crowd in Haifa was former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who said in a video posted on social media: “We will save our country because we don’t want to live in an undemocratic country.”

boss, appear in court for corruptionsaw the protests as a refusal by leftist opponents to accept the results of last November’s election, which produced one of the most right-wing governments in Israel’s history.

Last month, he was forced to remove a top minister, Aryeh Deri, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, due to a recent tax evasion charge.

In addition to the judicial changes, his government has announced its intention to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, as well as social reform worried the LGBTQ community.

Dania Shwartz, 44, from the city of Ramat Gan, told AFP news agency that protesters were “claiming back” the Israeli flag.

She expressed concern that, as a member of the LGBTQ community, “this new government will try to pass laws that affect my children.”

“For example, the Noam party wants to authorize families like ours and that’s scary,” she said, referring to one of Netanyahu’s coalition partners known for his harsh anti-gay stance. .

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