More than 110,000 People Rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday
This Saturday night became the third weekend when critics of the judicial reforms proposed by the new government for Israel’s justice system took to the streets.
There was a major rally held by protestors in the streets of Tel Aviv and some smaller events were also arranged in smaller cities.
According to estimates of the police, around 110,000 people turned up at Habima Square and on Kaplan Street, which made it the biggest protest as yet.
Organizers believed that almost 150,000 people attended the rally in Tel Aviv. Thousands more people were also protesting in other towns across the country, including Modi’in, Herzliya, Beersheba, Haifa and Jerusalem.
As for the protest held on last Saturday, a total of 80,000 people had shown up at the Habima Square in Tel Aviv and a few thousand more in Haifa and Jerusalem.
A number of roads had to be blocked due to the demonstration in central Tel Aviv and police forces in huge numbers were also deployed in order to ensure order.
The people had shown up in order to protest against the proposals put forward by the Justice Minister Yariv Levin, which are aimed at weakening the judiciary drastically.
The proposals would curb the judicial review powers of the High Court of Justice and would also ensure political control over the selection and appointment of judges.
One of the central organizers of the demonstration, the Movement for Quality Government, said that they were taking action against the new government’s plan of a dangerous revolution that puts the Israeli democracy at risk.
According to reports, the head of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset, was prepared to accelerate the process on the legislation, while rallies were being held.
Religious Zionism party’s MK Simcha Rothman has also drawn up a private proposal that will be presented for discussion to the lawmakers on Sunday.
The proposal from Levin is still under process and it is likely that they will merge the two proposals at some point.
Media reports indicated that the coalition wants the bill’s first reading to be done in the Knesset by February 1st.
Former prime minister and opposition leader, Yair Lapid, also arrived at the protest on Saturday after being criticized for not doing so the previous week.
He said that the demonstration was for their love for the country, as people had come forward for defending Israel’s democracy, courts and the common good.
He went on to say that they did not have any intention to stop until they win. Former IDF chief and defense minister, Benny Gantz also attended the protest.
David Grossman, a revered author, also spoke and said that the State of Israel had been founded for Jewish people to feel safe and at home.
But, he said that something was obviously wrong if there were so many people who were feeling like strangers. He said that it was time to stand up because it would affect the future.