(Tel Aviv) Thousands of protesters across Israel took to the streets Saturday for the 11th straight week against a controversial justice system bill backed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
In Dizengoff Square, Tel Aviv, thousands of people waved blue and white flags, in the colors of Israel, as well as the rainbow of the LGBT community, according to an AFP journalist on the spot. .
The crowd then marched cutting off traffic in the city center, chanting slogans like “Save Democracy!” »
“I am worried, not for myself but for my daughters and my grandchildren […] we want Israel to remain democratic and liberal, Jewish of course, but liberal, and we are very worried that (the country) become a dictatorship,” Naama Mazor, 64, a retiree from the city of Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, told AFP.
“We are here to protest until the end, and we hope it will end well,” she added.
For Sagiv Galan, 46, the government is “trying to destroy civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights ‘and everything democracy stands for’.”
According to local media, protests took place in more than 100 other cities and towns, including Haifa (north), Jerusalem and Beersheva (south).
This is the 11th consecutive week of protests against the reform bill, announced in early January, which includes the introduction of a “notwithstanding” clause allowing Parliament to overrule a Supreme Court decision by a simple majority. .
This reform aims to increase the power of elected officials over that of magistrates. According to its detractors, it jeopardizes the democratic character of the State of Israel and could help to quash a possible conviction of Mr. Netanyahu, tried for corruption in several cases.
Mr. Netanyahu and his allies believe the reform is necessary to restore a balanced balance of power between elected officials and the Supreme Court, which they consider politicized. Several provisions have already been adopted at first reading in Parliament.