Facebook Twitter

Here’s why over 100,000 people are protesting in Tel Aviv now

The Israeli government’s plans are to increase control over the Supreme Court’s powers to overturn government decisions and monitor judicial appointments

SHARE Here’s why over 100,000 people are protesting in Tel Aviv now
Israelis protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right government in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Israelis protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right government that his opponents say threaten democracy and freedoms, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

Oded Balilty, Associated Press

A protest with over 100,000 people took place in Tel Aviv Saturday night as a response to new government decisions about judicial system reforms that are in the works.

Here’s what we know.

What happened: The Times of Israel reported that the demonstrations taking place are in opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reform to the judicial system.

The Israeli government’s plans are to increase control over “judicial appointments and limit the Supreme Court’s powers to overturn government decisions or Knesset laws,” according to Reuters.

Lawyers, business leaders and others have reportedly been raising questions and opposition to the government’s plans.

Details: The Associated Press reported that protesters took to the streets with signs and flags that said, “Our Children will not Live in a Dictatorship” and “Israel, We Have A Problem.”

The police estimated that there were around 110,000 people in attendance at the protests that took place over the weekend, while the initial protests brought at least 80,000 people last week, according to NPR.

The Washington Post reported that other protesters carried signs that said, “We won’t become Iran,” and “Judaism does not equal racism!”

What has been said: “This is a protest to defend the country,” former Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who took part in the protest, said. “People came here today to protect their democracy.”

The head of the Israeli Bar Association, Avi Chimi said, “They want to destroy judicial authority, there is no democratic country without a judicial authority.”

“This is a dangerous government,” Yaara Ben Geraluf, a teacher from Jaffa, told the BBC. “This government will not be any good for women, for LGBTQ, for the impoverished people ... and of course for Palestinians.”

Background on the prime minister: Netanyahu was reportedly born in Jaffa, raised in Jerusalem and went on to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.

Britannica reported that Netanyahu was a solider in the Israeli military and was “on the team that rescued a hijacked jet plane at the Tel Aviv airport in 1972.”

Netanyahu went from being an army captain to ambassador, to deputy foreign minister, to the Likud party’s chairman before he served as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 and then again from 2009 to 2021.

The BBC reported that Netanyahu has won a record of five elections before winning again in 2022, making him the longest serving prime minister in the country’s history.

Netanyahu is also currently on trial for corruption, per The Associated Press.