Post: Anti-government rally begins in Tel Aviv

Protesters clashed with police during a rally against the Israeli government’s judicial reform in Tel Aviv, Israel. Archive photo

Tens of thousands of Israelis attended anti-government rally in Tel Aviv

TEL AVIV, September 23 – RIA Novosti. Protests continue across the country in Israel over judicial reform promoted by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu; Tens of thousands of protesters attended the anti-government rally in Tel Aviv for the 38th time, RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

This Saturday, protest organizers have announced actions in dozens of locations across Israel, including traditionally major cities. More than 110,000 people gathered at the main protest on Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street, according to estimates by Crowd Solutions, an Israeli company that studies crowd behavior at public events. Up to 200,000 protesters had previously participated in the most massive demonstrations against judicial reform in Tel Aviv.

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A car plowed into protesters on a highway in Israel

Today’s protest took place under the slogan “There is no amnesty for dictatorship” in light of the approach of Judgment Day (Yom Kippur), the most important date in the Jewish calendar, traditionally the Day of Atonement and Forgiveness. . In 2023, Yom Kippur begins on the evening of September 24, a few minutes before sunset, and ends on the night of September 25.

This week, as the constitutional crisis in Israel worsened, there were protests against the Netanyahu government in the United States during the prime minister’s visit to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. Thousands of protesters gathered in New York, especially during Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Joe Biden and the prime minister’s speech at the UN. The liberal public in Israel was not happy that Netanyahu ignored the issue of judicial reform, which divided Israeli society in two, during his speech at the UN podium.

The protest area, where government buildings are located in Tel Aviv, was completely closed to traffic. Kaplan Street and surrounding roads and intersections were filled with protesters. Police and doctors were on duty at the scene. Protesters chanted anti-government slogans and waved national flags.

Netanyahu’s government has faced 38 weeks of unprecedented protests against his overhaul of the country’s legal system. According to protest organizers, on some days nearly half a million people took to the streets in Israeli cities; This is a very important figure for a country whose population does not exceed ten million. Protests are often accompanied by clashes with police, arrests, closure of highways, transport routes and even the airport.

The government argues that the reform aims to maintain a balance between the three branches of government, as the country’s Supreme Court has the power to overturn laws and decisions of the executive and legislative branches in some cases.

In July, the country’s parliament (Knesset) passed one of the most important laws as part of the reform: a law that removed the reasonableness factor. This law strips courts, including the Supreme Court, of their ability to challenge administrative decisions deemed “beyond reason.” The law was passed amidst a full boycott by the opposition and mass protests across the country. In September, the Supreme Court held hearings on the legality of this law, but the date of the final decision is still unknown.

Reform advocates say eliminating the “reasonableness standard” is necessary so that a democratically elected government can implement policies that benefit the majority of citizens. Opponents of the law argue that it would make it harder for the Supreme Court to intervene in cases where elected officials make arbitrary, sweeping or corrupt decisions. Opponents of the reform also believe that it will weaken the democratic character of the State of Israel.

Israeli police used water cannon to disperse protesters

Source: Ria

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