Israel erupts in protest as defense minister is ousted
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister on Sunday, leading to calls of concern for democracy in Israel, and thousands joined in protests in Jerusalem on Monday
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister on Sunday, leading to calls of concern for democracy in Israel, and thousands joined in protests in Jerusalem on Monday.
Airplanes were no longer leaving the country as workers walked out of the Ben Gurion Airport to join the protests, along with the largest union. Two large ports, two big shopping malls and the medical association announced strikes. And military personnel are threatening to not report for training, per the Financial Times.
This latest protest is one in a series that started in January as Israelis claim the prime minister’s actions of reformation to the judicial system is a threat to the country’s democracy.
Netanyahu’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, was well-known for pushing back against the reform and was fired from his position for being a “tangible threat” to Israel’s security, reported the Financial Times.
Justice Minister Yariv Levin, a supporter of the reform, said that any attempt to stop the reform now “may lead to the fall of the government and the collapse of Likud,” the right-wing party, per The Times of Israel.
But not everyone in the government agreed.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog called for Netanyahu to halt the reform “for the sake of the unity of the people of Israel,” as the “entire nation is rapt with deep worry,” per the Financial Times.
President Joe Biden expressed concerns about weakening the country’s Supreme Court, saying it could damage the country’s “military readiness” and impact Israel’s democracy, reported Axios.
“As the president recently discussed with ... Netanyahu directly, democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” said a White House National Security Council spokesperson on Sunday, per Axios.