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    HomeWorldA Comprehensive Timeline of Israel Protests: Examining the Threats to Democracy

    A Comprehensive Timeline of Israel Protests: Examining the Threats to Democracy

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    Israel has been in turmoil for months due to controversial judicial reforms that have sparked massive anti-government protests. On Monday, unions declared a strike and flights were suspended. The proposed reforms, unveiled on January 4th by Israel’s Justice Minister Yariv Levin, would give politicians more power over the courts. The measures include giving parliament the power to overrule some Supreme Court decisions and the government a greater say in the appointment of judges. Levin claims the court’s power to strike down legislation is a “danger” to democracy, but critics accuse embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges he denies, of trying to use the reforms to quash possible judgments against him. Thousands of people in Tel Aviv demonstrated against the reforms and other policies of Netanyahu’s administration on January 7th. By the third week of Saturday protests, the numbers of demonstrators grew to the tens of thousands and spread from Tel Aviv to other cities, including Haifa and Jerusalem. On February 12th, President Isaac Herzog warned Israel is “on the verge of legal and social collapse” and urged Netanyahu not to introduce the reforms. On March 1st, police in Tel Aviv used stun grenades, water cannon, and officers on horseback to disperse protesters who attempted to block roads and railways in what organizers called a “day of disruption”. Thirty-seven Israeli air force pilots announced a boycott of military training on March 6th in protest at the reforms. On March 19th, US President Joe Biden urged “compromise” during a call with Netanyahu, saying that the judicial reforms must respect the democratic values that Biden calls a “hallmark” of the US-Israeli relationship. On March 27th, Israel’s top trade union leader declared a general strike, and President Herzog called for the reform to be halted “immediately”. Justice Minister Levin says he will “accept any decision that Prime Minister Netanyahu makes”. Netanyahu is due to address the nation later on Monday.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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