In Israel, 11th consecutive week of demonstrations against a controversial bill
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New demonstrations took place on Saturday in several cities in Israel against the government of Benjamin Netanyahu and the controversial bill he supports, aimed at reforming the judicial system.
Thousands of demonstrators across Israel came out again on Saturday (March 18) to protest a controversial justice system bill backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is the 11th consecutive week of protest.
In Dizengoff Square, Tel Aviv, thousands of people waved blue and white flags, in the colors of Israel, as well as that of the rainbow of the LGBT + community, according to an AFP journalist on the spot. .
The crowd then marched through cutting off traffic in the city center, chanting slogans like “Save Democracy!”
“Worried that (the country) will become a dictatorship”
“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) becomes 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 is fighting 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 demonstrations against this reform project, announced at the beginning of January, and which includes the introduction of a “derogation” clause allowing Parliament to overturn a decision of the Supreme Court 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 break a possible conviction of Benjamin Netanyahu, tried for corruption in several cases.
Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies consider the reform necessary to restore a 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.