Students, Parents Protest Judicial Overhaul, Major Highway to Tel Aviv Blocked

On Thursday, hundreds of students and parents protested outside educational institutes against the radical judicial overhaul plans of the government, which critics have said will undermine democracy.

The demonstrations at kindergartens and schools, stating that there cannot be any education without democracy.

The protests were held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Rosh Ha’ayin, Haifa and Ramat Gan, amongst other locations.

The demonstration

The Hakfar Hayarok youth village is where the main demonstration was held and almost 600 people participated in it, as they blocked the highway leading to Tel Aviv.

The protestors also waved Israeli flags and there were chants of ‘democracy’. The rallies’ organizers stated that democracy belongs to everyone, especially to the children.

They said that it was not a political tool that the left or right can use. The statement of the organizers said that the values of pluralism, democracy and equality be maintained.

One mother who had come to the protest with her daughter said that they were fighting for democracy and for the future of their children and the country.

She said that they would not allow shady people to carry out a revolution against education and democracy and impose it on the people.

The criticism

According to critics, the planned legislation as well as the sweeping reforms that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu want to enact will impact the democratic character of Israel.

They have said that the system of checks and balances will be unbalanced because the executive branch will have all the power and minorities and individual rights will be left undefended and unprotected.

Furthermore, MK Avi Moaz has been given control of some aspects of the educational system, who will also address external programming in schools.

The far-right anti-LGBT lawmaker is against the existing content that teaches tolerance and pluralism and this has also made people unhappy

More details

Later in the day, protestors were planning on traveling on major intercity highway Route 1 in a convoy and for rallying outside the official residence of the premier in Jerusalem as well as his private residence.

Mass protests have been held every week against the government’s plans, with weekend protests being held in Tel Aviv that have seen hundreds of thousands of people come out on the streets.

Religious Zionism party’s MK Simcha Rothman said that the anti-government protestors did not make up a significant part of the population.

On Thursday, she said in an interview that they were not even close to the number of voters of the Meretz party, which had failed to pass the threshold for entering the Knesset.

She said that these people had lost in the elections and were not patriots or democratic because they want to burn the country.

The Meretz party had been founded in 1992 and since then, it had never failed to enter the Knesset in an election.

But, it was unable to do so in the elections in November, which saw Netanyahu’s coalition win, making it the most religious and right-wing government seen in Israel’s history.

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