Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Massive Protests Erupt Across Israel as Supreme Court Considers Government Overhaul

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“Tens of thousands of Israelis rallied in cities across the nation on Saturday, bracing for a critical Supreme Court decision on legislation passed by the coalition that seeks to curtail the court’s oversight powers.”

Earlier this year, the far-right coalition led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu introduced a series of plans aimed at reducing the court’s authority through a package of legislation. However, in response to significant public outcry, only one part of the plan was ultimately passed.

Supporters of the judicial overhaul argue that these plans are essential for restoring a balance of power among government branches. Critics, on the other hand, contend that they eliminate crucial checks on government authority.

The most recent legislation, an amendment to one of Israel’s fundamental laws, strips the court of its ability to invalidate government decisions or appointments on the grounds of being “unreasonable.”

Nattie Schwartz-Kershberg, a protester in Tel Aviv, stated, “I am demonstrating for Israel’s democracy. I want to ensure that Israel remains a democracy and doesn’t veer toward dictatorship.”

These overhaul plans have sparked weekly nationwide protests. However, the recent demonstrations held particular significance as they preceded a historic event: for the first time in Israeli history, the Supreme Court’s entire 15-judge bench will convene on September 12 to hear an appeal against the amendment.

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