Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu delivers a speech during the Graduation Ceremony for Naval Academy cadets in Naval Base in Haifa, north of Israel on September 7, 2011. (JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
OAN Geraldyn Berry
5:42 PM PT – Monday, February 13, 2023
In response to warnings that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to undermine the court runs the risk of sending the nation into a “social collapse,” tens of thousands of Israelis carrying flags descended on the country’s parliament on Monday.
Messages such as, “there is no democracy without equality” and “destroying the country to avoid trial,” were seen all around.
“Shame! Shame!” and “Israel will not be a dictatorship,” protesters chanted.
Participants included Arabs, women’s rights and LGBTQ+ activists, as well as opposition parties.
Despite the demonstration and President Isaac Herzog’s appeal on Sunday night to delay the commencement of the parliamentary process, the administration proposed the reform bill in the Knesset on Monday as scheduled.
In effect, Herzog sounded the alarm that Israel might be in for “a violent collision” and is “on the verge of constitutional and social collapse.”
According to Netanyahu and his supporters, the country’s unelected judges hold excessive power and should be restrained.
The prime minister’s proposal calls for legislature to control judicial appointments. Netanyahu asserted that his proposed reform will undermine the nation’s democratic checks and balances.
Another proposal intended to grant parliament the authority to overrule Supreme Court judgments it disagrees with is currently being worked on. The plan’s detractors claim that it would force Israel toward a government in which the head of state controls all key axes of power.
Wide sections of Israeli society have condemned the idea. This has led to weeks of large-scale protests. President Joe Biden has expressed his concern.
It is said that Monday’s demonstration was the largest to take place in the city in years.