Jerusalem (EFE).- Civil society groups have called for a “week of paralysis” throughout Israel starting Sunday, when Parliament is expected to definitively approve the law on the election of judges, a central part of the controversial reform court promoted by the ultra-conservative government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
There will also be protests tonight, for the twelfth consecutive Saturday since Justice Minister Yariv Levin announced this radical reform, which seeks to increase Executive control over the judicial system, diminishing its independence and threatening the separation of powers of democracy, according to his detractors.
The protests of recent Saturdays, with Tel Aviv as the epicenter, have brought together half a million protesters in a country of 9.5 million inhabitants, the largest in the history of Israel, and the organizers have warned that the protests tonight they could be even more crowded.
But in addition, they have called a full week of strikes and protests starting on Sunday, with pickets against coalition ministers and parliamentarians in their homes and offices on Sunday and Monday; and demonstrations throughout the country the rest of the days, including a “giant protest” in front of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem, when the law for the election of judges is going to be approved, foreseeably on Wednesday.
“We are entering the most fateful week in Israel’s history. This destructive government is tearing the nation apart and dismantling the military and the economy,” the protest organizing groups said in a statement.
“Faced with the attempt to turn Israel into a dictatorship, millions will take to the streets to defend the State of Israel and the Declaration of Independence. Every citizen who wants to live in a democracy must go out into the streets and oppose the dictatorship at all costs,” they added.
Wide social response
This is an unprecedented level of social response from broad sectors such as banking, business, culture, intellectuals, legal and even the military, since thousands of reservists have refused to serve, which has increased fears about security.
The protesters aspire to increase the pressure in the streets throughout the next week after Prime Minister Netanyahu announced on Thursday that he was going to get directly involved in the process of reform to achieve a “solution” that pleases everyone and extended a hand to the opposition to talk, although he stressed his intention to go ahead with the reform as it is conceived.
“Unfortunately, until today, my hands were tied. We reached the absurdity that if I had been involved in the details of the reform, as required by my position, they threatened to force me out of office, against the electoral result and the will of millions of citizens. It is absurd in a democracy, ”he asserted.
However, the attorney general, Gali Baharav-Miara, informed Netanyahu in a letter yesterday that his direct involvement in the judicial reform is “illegal” because it constitutes a “conflict of interest” and violates the agreement he signed in 2020 to to be able to govern with an ongoing trial for corruption.
But Netanyahu’s announcement came hours after the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) approved a law on Thursday that shields him from office against possible disqualification for corruption, by reducing the assumptions for his recusal to only health reasons, and only It may be promoted by the government, and not by the prosecutor’s office or the Supreme Court.
In addition, the prime minister said that the new judge election law, which gives the government a majority in the judge selection committee – six (three ministers and three coalition legislators) out of a panel of eleven – will be voted on in third and last reading next week, as planned, so the protesters saw his supposed conciliatory message as a farce.