Tens of thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to tighten control over the Supreme Court. The government wants to give itself control over naming judges to the Supreme Court and let parliament override many rulings. Critics say this will remove vital checks and balances of a democratic state and hand unchecked power to the government.
The protests have been going on for 18 consecutive weeks and are some of the biggest seen in Israel. The government says it needs the overhaul to restore balance between the judiciary and elected politicians. However, 74% of Israelis think the government is functioning poorly after five months in power.
Protesters gathered in central Tel Aviv and other cities across the country. They waved Israeli flags and see the planned overhaul as an existential threat to Israeli democracy. The planned changes have been put on hold to give time for Israeli President Isaac Herzog to broker a compromise between the coalition and opposition, but talks have not yet produced results.
The protests have been peaceful, with no reports of violence or arrests.