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Protest leaders debate where to go next after extensive demonstrations on ‘Day of Disruption’ deemed a success

While some call for increased activity, government supporters plan counter protest

Israelis protest against the government's planned judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, July 11, 2023. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

With Tuesday’s ‘Day of Disruption’ protests being considered a success by protest leaders, after seeing large turnouts across the country, protest leaders are debating what their next step should be. 

Some in the protest movement are calling for increasing activities, as the Reasonableness Standard Bill continues to be debated in the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. 

The committee made some adjustments on Thursday to the bill ahead of a return to the Knesset for a second and third reading. 

The adjustments limited the scope of the bill to cover decisions and appointments made by the prime minister and other cabinet ministers. There had been a concern that the bill was too broadly worded, such that it would prevent judicial review using the reasonableness standard of any government official at the national or communal level. 

According to some of the protest leaders, demonstrations will happen outside of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residences in Caesarea and Jerusalem, as well as outside the house of Histadrut labor union chairman Arnon Bar-David. 

One protest leader told Ynet news, “The reservists' protest was decisive last time, and most likely it will also decide the government's fate this time. What is the State of Israel without an army?” 

Another leader shared some of the debate in the movement, “Some think we need to disrupt the country and intensify the actions, as is happening in other countries, for less than that. We are not talking about the cost of living, it's Israeli democracy that is at stake.” 

“Others think that we should continue to keep the protest burning and increase its intensity in accordance with the progress of the legislation,” the leader said. 

Lieutenant Colonel (reserve) Guy Rosen, one of the leaders of Brothers in Arms protest group, and former commander of a classified unit in the Air Force, said he hopes the protests “will lead to the resignation of the prime minister and to the halt of this regime revolution.”  

Yishai Hadas, head of the Crime Minister protest group, announced on social media Wednesday that he is no longer cooperating with the other protest groups. 

Hadas has consistently focused his protest efforts on Netanyahu. He was reportedly frustrated that recent protests focused too narrowly on the coalition government and the judicial reform legislation instead of Netanyahu. 

At the same time, right-wing political groups that organized the “Million Man March” in Jerusalem in April shortly after the judicial reform legislation was paused, announced that they will be organizing a similar rally in Tel Aviv. 

The demonstration will take place at Kaplan Junction in Tel Aviv on July 23. 

Kaplan has been the location of the largest anti-judicial reform protests. 

An ad for the rally said, “On the eve of the conclusion of the legislative proceedings on the grounds of reasonableness, the entire national camp comes to Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv to stand alongside the heads of the national camp and the coalition Knesset members and tell them - the people are with you, vote for the amendment, 64 seats are not second-class citizens.” 

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

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