Mass protests continue against Israeli government’s plans to overhaul legal system
The government’s reform proposals would curtail the authority of the Supreme Court and give politicians greater powers over the selection of judges.
In March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced a “pause” to allow for talks on the reforms, which were moving through parliament and split the nation.
Israeli media said nearly 100,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv for Saturday’s protest. The police do not supply official figures for the number of demonstrators.
On Friday, several hundred Israelis had protested outside Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea north of Tel Aviv in a demonstration police labelled as unauthorised. There were at least 17 arrests.
“It’s important for us to eliminate the possibility of Israel becoming a dictatorship,” added Arnon Oshri, a 66-year-old farmer.
Netanyahu’s government, a coalition between his Likud party and extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies, argues that the proposed changes are needed to rebalance powers between lawmakers and the judiciary.
But opponents of the plan believe it could open the way to a more authoritarian government.
“This corrupt government is full of outlaws who are degrading our country to the level of a third world country,” Oshri said.