Israelis continue protesting Netanyahu judicial plan for 11th week
Israelis are taking to the streets for the 11th week in a row as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still staunchly pushing for his judicial amendments law.
Israelis took to the streets all over occupied Palestine for the 11th week in a row to protest the far-right government's bid to overhaul the judiciary over concerns that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans will undermine so-called "democracy".
The Israelis are protesting over fears that the reforms, already moving through the Knesset, would increase politicians' power over the courts.
The "Dizengoff Square" in "Tel Aviv" saw thousands of demonstrators protesting against the government before they went on to block roads while marching for "Saving Democracy!"
Israeli Channel 13 reported that it was estimated that 175,000 people participated in the demonstrations against judicial reform in "Tel Aviv."
On Street 65, thousands demonstrated against the reforms, and the street at the "Karkur" junction was closed to traffic, while the police dispersed the demonstrators with wastewater, taking several of them for interrogation.
According to Israeli media, demonstrations took place in more than 100 towns and cities, including Haifa, Al-Quds, and Beir Sabaa.
A 57-year Israeli was arrested after ramming his car into a group of protesters in "Herzliya," north of "Tel Aviv", a police spokesperson said, adding one person has been hospitalized.
Earlier in the day, Israeli media reported that 250 current and former senior officials published a poignant letter that accused Netanyahu and his government of creating and assimilating destructive "factionalism", hatred, fear, and a culture of lies, and of fatally damaging "social cohesion".
The letter accused Netanyahu and his government of "instilling distrust in the legal system" and violating the "principle of separation of powers."
During an interview with the Israeli Channel 12, former Security Minister Benny Gantz said, "I am very worried. I warned of a brotherly war and we are on the brink of it. We will not know control over these events," calling on Netanyahu to slow things down.
This comes after Netanyahu directed the police on Friday to take decisive measures against the violence and violence-incitement in recent large-scale protests against his government's judicial overhaul decision.
"I expect the police and the prosecutor's office to take swift actions against those responsible for the incitement and violence," Netanyahu announced on Telegram.
Netanyahu cited a set of incidents: the spiteful graffiti against Justice minister Yariv Levin, threats against the Chairman of the Law and Justice committee Simcha Rothman, and an attack against the minister of the economy Nir Barkat.
During a meeting that brought together various officials on Thursday, a protester threw a stone at the meeting room window while the minister of the economy was inside. Additionally, last week, after police reported death threats against him from the police, Rothman refrained from attending a meeting with lawyers of the "Israel" Bar Association in "Tel Aviv."
Moreover, The Israeli opposition coalition announced that they will boycott the final voting session in the Knesset on judicial reforms.
However, the opposition failed to fully convene as the Arab parties did not attend the meeting that included Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beyteinu, Benny Gantz’s National Unity, and Merav Michaeli’s Labor party.
In a joint statement, the parties said there will be no dialogue with the PM until the reforms process stops.
"The unity of the people begins with real dialogue and as long as there is no halt to legislation, talks are just a deception," the statement said. "When the president’s outline is presented, we will be happy to address his proposal and we appreciate his efforts to reach negotiations."
Israeli President Isaac Herzog, whose role is largely ceremonial, proposed Thursday a compromise to Netanyahu’s judicial reforms which was supported by opposition leaders, but the government immediately rejected it.
"Anyone who thinks that a genuine civil war, with human lives, is a line that we could never reach, has no idea what he is talking about," Herzog said.
Netanyahu called Herzog’s proposed compromise a "unilateral compromise", the "key points" of which "only perpetuate the existing situation and do not bring the required balance between the powers".
The parties called on the government to drop "this crazy collection of laws" and to instead cooperate with them to reach a "comprehensive and balanced constitutional arrangement."
Netanyahu rejecting Herzog's appeal saw Israelis take to the streets again, resuming their protests and clashing with the police in various cities throughout occupied Palestine.
Several provisions of the proposed "judicial overhaul" plan have already been adopted by the Knesset.
This comes despite a former Israeli prime minister calling for civil disobedience in the occupation on Sunday if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's judicial reforms package is enacted.
In a statement on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS show, Ehud Barak said, "Once a government, using the tools of democracy, to destroy it from within, and ends up acting in a blatantly illegitimate matter, it is not just the right of citizens, it is, in my judgment, the obligation of citizens to turn unfortunately toward civil disobedience.”
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A former Security minister and military chief of staff, Barak raised the possibility of the Israeli occupation refusing to accept orders from Netanyahu’s government if it attempts to seize more power. “We do not have a contract with a dictatorship and once there is a de-facto dictatorship in "Israel", we do not have a contract with them,” he said of the military.