Heated protests seen over proposed change to Israel's Supreme Court

September 12, 2023

Jerusalem was the scene of mass protests this weekend as thousands of left-wing Israelis appeared outside their nation's Supreme Court for demonstrations that were marked by violence. 

According to the Associated Press, many in Israel are angry over judicial reforms proposed by the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Controversy over Supreme Court's role

Netanyahu has proposed a change that would strip the nation's highest judicial body of its ability to strike down government actions and appointments on the grounds that they are "unreasonable."

Supporters of the measure contend that it is needed to prevent unelected, left-wing judges from shutting down democratic governance.

Meanwhile, detractors insist that the move will undermine the Supreme Court's ability to serve as a check on the prime minister.

The Associated Press noted that the proposal was defended on Monday by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who declared, "The reform is important for the state of Israel."

"Caving (to the opposition) at the president’s house means violating right-wing values," the national security minister went on to insist.

Demonstrators take to the streets in London

Protests were not confined to Israel, as The Jewish Chronicle reported that demonstrators also gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on Sunday.

Event organizer Sharon Shocha called the day "amazing," adding, "The atmosphere was one of hope and determination; the coming together of Jewish people of all backgrounds."

One of those to speak at the rally was Israeli author and history professor Yuval Noah Harari. He told the crowd, "If you still find the situation confusing, there is really just one key question you should ask: What limits the power of the government?"

Motorist accused of attempting to hit protesters

Sunday saw protest-related violence, with independent journalist Demiurgos Caen tweeting out footage of a clash between demonstrators and a motorist.

Protesters were at one point seen manhandling the driver after they accused him of attempting to hit them with his vehicle.

 


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