Tel Aviv High Schoolers Protest against Judicial Reforms
On Sunday, thousands of high school students in Tel Aviv held a one-hour strike in protest of the plans of the new government about making sweeping changes to the justice system in Israel.
Students of the Dalet public high school in Tel Aviv marched along Dizengoff Street towards Habima Square and they were carrying signs that talked of democracy and the future.
The judicial overhaul that the new government is planning is aimed at significantly limiting the power of the judiciary in Israel.
They are meant to give the government control over the appointment of judges and restrict the review powers of the High Court of Justice.
Yariv Levin, the Justice Minister, had announced the said reforms earlier this month and they have received a great deal of criticism since then.
As a matter of fact, there have been weekly mass rallies against the reforms and public petitions have also been submitted by numerous private companies, professionals, officials and other bodies.
The principal of Ironi Dalet, Uri Lass, said that the students had decided to take a moral stand, rather than a political one because democracy is important.
The principal also said that the rights of individuals are important and they would make their voices heard in the first Hebrew city.
Originally, the school had defined the march of the students as protesting against tyranny, but a letter had been sent to Lass by Asaf Zalel, the Director-General of the Education Ministry.
The principal was told to not make comments that could give a political undertone to the march. Other high schools in Tel Aviv also held protests separately.
The Yesh Atid party of the opposition said that some of the rallies had been organized by them. These included the protests in Kfar Saba, Leyada at Katzenelson High School.
Some of the others were in Sapir at the Shitim Darca High School, in Netanya at the Shchafim School for Special Education, in Rehovot at the De Shalit High School and in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University Secondary School.
The leader of the opposition and the chief of the Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid tweeted that students had taken to the streets in protest of the political coup.
He said that the students did not want anti-liberal and extremist entities to have control over their education.
He added that the future generation did not want the extremist government to destroy the democracy of Israel.
Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, who had also attended one of the protests, said that he was proud of the students for taking a stand.
He said that the students could have gone home, but they were supporting the state and democracy. He said that like in soccer, students know that fans of the rival team cannot choose judges.
He went on to say that democracy meant protecting human rights and he was proud to know that Tel Aviv has such students.
A number of sites all over Israel saw students protesting the judicial reforms planned by Netanyahu’s government.