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Judicial reform protests for 15th straight week, hundreds of thousands of Israelis demonstrate across the country

Protest organizers vow to 'continue protesting in the hundreds of thousands until the judicial coup is completely shelved'

Thousands of Israelis protest the government's planned judicial overhaul, at the Azrieli junction in Tel Aviv, April 15, 2023. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis reportedly took to the streets across Israel to protest the government’s judicial overhaul for the 15th consecutive week. 

Protesters fear that the government’s plan to dramatically reduce the power of the Supreme Court will undermine Israeli democracy. Proponents argue that reducing the Court’s power will strengthen the country’s democratic foundations. 

In early April, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin, one of the architects of the judicial reforms, reportedly admitted that the original overhaul plans had elements that might threaten democracy. 

As in the past few months, Tel Aviv remains the center of the growing protest movement against the conservative Netanyahu government. The protest drew a diverse range of speakers, including the Israel Defense Forces’ former Chief of the General Staff Dan Halutz, Olympic athlete Vered Buskila and Neta Amar, an attorney from the Mizrahi Civic Collective. 

Protest organizers vowed to “continue protesting in the hundreds of thousands until the judicial coup is completely shelved.”

Right-wing organization Im Tirtzu organized counter-demonstrations in support of the government’s judicial overhaul. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who attended a pro-government rally in the city of Netanya, stressed that the judicial reform would benefit both Israel and the Israeli military. 

“We are for a reform! For IDF soldiers! For the State of Israel!” Ben Gvir told his political supporters. 

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid lambasted Ben Gvir, presenting him as the face of Israel’s current political turmoil. 

“Show me a place in the world where the government demonstrates against its own people. In what democratic country in the world, aside from Israel, can Itamar Ben Gvir be a minister?” the opposition leader asked the anti-government protesters. “You know why he is here? Because he is afraid of you.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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