Tens of Thousands Rally in Tel Aviv and other Cities for 5th Week

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people in Israel rallied for the fifth straight week in order to protest against the far-reaching proposals that the new government has put forward for the judicial system.

The main protests were carried out in Tel Aviv, but there were smaller demonstrations that were also held in Haifa, Jerusalem and a number of other cities.

The leaders

Yair Lapid, the leader of the opposition, was in attendance at the rally held in Haifa and said that the people had come out for saving the country.

He said that they would take their fight to the streets, the Knesset and in the courts for saving the country because they do not want to live in a country that is undemocratic.

Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, also spoke to the crowd and said that once words come to an end, then actions take their place.

He stated that everyone was fighting for their home, which was a Jewish, Zionist and democratic one and they were fighting for their basic beliefs.

Huldai added that this was an opportunity for them to make broad agreements and they would start taking action once words come to an end.

The Tel Aviv mayor said that they would not stop at public squares and would not remain indifferent or show acceptance.

Former police commissioner

Roni Alscheich, the former police commissioner, also attended the rally in Tel Aviv and spoke to the protestors.

He denounced the proposals that had been put forward by the coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu, as they include measures that would curb the judicial review powers of the High Court of Justice.

In addition, they would also give politicians control over the selection and appointment of judges. Alsheich said that the measures were nothing less than a coup d’etat.

He also said that the proposals put forward were nothing Jewish because he said that the Jewish value dictates that power be restrained.

He said that he was an observant and believing Jew and the politicians’ behavior was shameful for him. He added that he had had to hear claims that the religious community is just shielding public corruption.

The protests

The rallies that were held throughout Tel Aviv had about 40,000 people in attendance, while there had been about 100,000 protestors two weeks earlier.

The total turnout nationwide on Saturday was around 60,000, with 2,000 people rallying in Kfar Saba, Ra’anana and Jerusalem each and 10,000 people in Haifa.

People protesting in Jerusalem were properly bundled up, as there was a steady drizzle. They stood with umbrellas as well as signs and Israeli flags.

The protests started with speeches and chants and then a march to the Paris Square, which is close to the official residence of the prime minister.

A law professor from Hebrew University, Yoav Dotan, was one of the speakers. He talked about the attempts of the current government to attack the army, police as well as government ministries.

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