In Israel, tens of thousands of people demonstrated again on Saturday against the judicial reform that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to implement. For months, demonstrators in Tel Aviv, among others, have taken to the streets every Saturday to protest this. Banners calling Netanyahu “the enemy of democracy”.
During a Saturday rally in Tel Aviv, former prime minister Ehud Barak called for an escalation of the protests, which began 25 weeks ago. The only legitimate way is civil disobedience, according to Barak.
“I call on every citizen to prepare for a non-violent defense,” the politician said, referring to the tactics of historic protest groups in countries like the United States and India. According to Barak, the protests in Israel are entering a “new phase”.
Netanyahu postponed his reform plans in March after weekly demonstrations in several cities. He then announced a “pause” to give dialogue between the government and the opposition a chance, but earlier this week the prime minister said reform plans, which have deeply divided the country, are continuing.
“We will meet this week and start taking practical measures,” Netanyahu said, without elaborating. A few days before the prime minister’s remarks, the two opposition leaders, Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz, indicated that they were suspending their participation in the negotiations.
Opponents of the reforms argue that the government wants to increase its power at the expense of an independent judiciary. The protests began in January after Netanyahu’s new far-right government announced it would limit the powers of the Supreme Court in favor of parliament. The highest court is very politicized according to the majority parties.
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