Some 100,000 protesters turned out in central Tel Aviv, demonstrating against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government to change the judicial system that protesters say will threaten democratic checks and balances on ministers by the courts.
Why are Israelis protesting?
The plans, which the government claims are needed to curb overreach by activist judges, have drawn fierce opposition from groups, including lawyers, and raised concerns among business leaders, widening the already deep political divisions.
The protesters say the future of Israeli democracy is at stake if the government succeeds in pushing through the plans, which would tighten political control over judicial appointments and limit the Supreme Court’s powers to overturn government decisions or declare Knesset laws unconstitutional and for the government to overrule the court’s decisions.
As well as threatening the independence of judges and weakening oversight of the government and parliament, protesters say the plans will undermine the rights of minorities and open the doors to more corruption.