By Muslim Mirror Network
Thousands rally against the judicial overhaul on Saturday evening, the day after leading rating agency Moody’s downgraded Israel’s economic outlook from positive to stable, citing the “deterioration of Israel’s governance” amid the coalition’s highly contentious bid to dramatically weaken the judiciary, Times of Israel reported.
Protesters have been gathering for over three months against the hardline coalition’s plans to overhaul the judicial system, bring most judicial appointments under government control, and curb the oversight powers of the High Court of Justice.
The main event on Saturday evening was held at Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street, with protests set to take place at a further 150 locations around the country.
Speakers in Tel Aviv will include former IDF chief of staff Dan Halutz, Olympic athlete Vered Buskila, attorney Netta Amar Shiff from the Mizrahi-Civilian Collective, and social activist David Mizrahi.
Opponents worry that the judicial appointments bill, which had advanced to its last two Knesset votes before the freeze was announced, could go before the Knesset plenum for final approval at a moment’s notice once the Knesset returns from its Passover recess at the end of the month.
They say it will drastically weaken Israel’s democratic character, remove a key element of its checks and balances and leave minorities unprotected. Proponents of the government’s overhaul plans say reforms are needed to rein in politically motivated judicial activism.
Now during the mass anti government demo in Tel Aviv: Israel youth burn their army draft orders in protest of the occupation and apartheid pic.twitter.com/Uw9Qa0szWN
— Oren Ziv (@OrenZiv_) April 15, 2023
Tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv waving flags, banging drums and blaring horns to protest against the government's judicial overhaul https://t.co/iru6CiYsPf pic.twitter.com/Z5PpbRVbjb
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 16, 2023
Meanwhile, an Israeli expat protest group on Friday called on the leadership of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to rescind invitations to Netanyahu and Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rothman, an architect of the overhaul, to speak at the organization’s annual assembly in Tel Aviv at the end of the month.
Netanyahu agreed in late March to call a timeout on advancing legislation that would give the government almost complete control over almost all judicial appointments to the Supreme Court and other courts, along with other parts of the judicial package. The month-long suspension was announced after weeks of intensifying protests had brought the country practically to a standstill. ( With ANI inputs)