Israel celebrated its 75th Independence Day on Tuesday despite tens of thousands of protesters gathering in Tel Aviv to protest against the government’s plans to restrict the judiciary. The annual torch lighting ceremony took place in Jerusalem, but protesters gathered in Tel Aviv waving Israeli flags to show their opposition to the judicial overhaul plans. The protests have been ongoing for 16 weeks and have become a symbol of the division in Israel over the legislation. Supporters believe the legislation would restore balance to Israeli authorities, while critics argue that it removes checks on those in power.
The deep social divisions in Israel have led to an uncertain mood during the country’s anniversary celebrations. Memorial Day was held on Tuesday to honour the country’s military dead, with Independence Day following a day later. Both days have traditionally served as markers of unity in a nation that has fought repeated wars since its creation. However, this year, Israelis are deeply polarised over the planned legislation and fear that next year’s Independence Day celebrations could be very different.
Rohit is a News18.com journalist who loves football and has a passion for world affairs. Follow him on Twitter at @heis_rohit.