Protest in Israel February 4, 2023
More than 100,000 people took the streets this Saturday in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and dozens of other cities, to protest against the judicial reforms proposed by the Government.
The former prime minister and leader of the opposition, Yair Lapid, has participated in the demonstration held in Haifa. “These people are trying to save their country and we are here to protest with them, because we won’t allow this to happen,” the politician declared.
“We will fight in the streets, we will fight in the Knesset —the body of legislative power in the Hebrew country—, we will fight in the courts. We will save our country because we are not willing to live in a non-democratic state,” he added.
At the rally in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square, the main speaker was Roni Alsheikh, former Israel Police commissioner, who led the investigation and final recommendation to charge Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
What’s going on?
On January 4, the country’s new Justice Minister, Yariv Levin, presented a reform of the legal system with the aim of limiting the powers of the Supreme Court and changing the system of election of judges.
This move would give the Netanyahu government full control over the appointment of judges, including those of the Supreme Court, severely limit the ability of the High Court of Justice to strike down laws, and allow Parliament to re-pass laws struck down by the Court if a majority of 61 deputies vote in favour.
In addition, after the reform, the Israeli authorities will also be able to appoint a president and a vice president of the Supreme Court who have not been part of it and who have never even been judges of lower courts.