Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated Saturday in Tel Aviv and near parliament in Jerusalem to reaffirm his opposition to a controversial judicial reform that faces a crucial vote in the coming days.
This reform, Ipromoted by the government of Benjamin Netanyahudeeply divide Israel, which has lived since January one of the longest protest movements in its history.
The Tel Aviv protesters chanted slogans in favor of democracy, in this 29th consecutive day of mobilization.
«The government does not listen to us and that means we are entering a new era, a bad era,» Idit Dekel, 55, who works in the high-tech sector, told AFP.
According to the government, The reform will allow, among other things, to rebalance powers, reduce the prerogatives of the Supreme Court, which the Executive considers politicized, to the benefit of Parliament.
But his critics believe that the reform risks opening the way to an anti-liberal or authoritarian drift of a government that is the most right-wing in the history of Israel, with nationalist and religious figures.
Starting at noon on Sunday, the Knesset (parliament) will debate a measure of the reform, intended to nullify the possibility for the judiciary to rule on the «reasonableness» of government decisions.
This clause will be voted on in the second and third reading. If approved, it will be the first major component of the judicial reform proposal to become law.
To pressure the deputies, thousands of demonstrators gathered on Saturday night in front of the Knesset and the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, after having traveled the approximately 65 kilometers between Tel Aviv and the Holy City.
«This government is an extremist and religious government and we hope to overthrow it as soon as possible,» said Guy Maidan, who participated in the multi-day march with his family.
Other measures of the reform are causing the discontent of the demonstrators, such as the one that modifies the process of appointment of judges, already adopted by the deputies in first reading.
Netanyahu’s critics accuse him of wanting to use that reform in order to mitigate an eventual guilty verdict in corruption allegations against him.
threat of reservists
More than 1,100 Israeli Air Force reservists have threatened to suspend their voluntary service if parliament approves the challenged reform.
Any legislation applied in an «unreasonable» manner «would compromise my willingness to continue to risk my life and would force me, with a heavy heart, to suspend my voluntary reserve service,» states a statement backed by 1,142 reservists.including 235 fighter pilots, 173 drone operators and 85 commando unit soldiers.
Netanyahu said Thursday that his door was «open» to negotiate with the opposition, after a parliamentary commission approved one of the main measures of the disputed judicial reform bill.
US President Joe Biden urged Netanyahu on Wednesday to seek «consensus» and «not to rush» with reforms to the judicial system.