Even though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had suspended the reforms earlier in the week, tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated against the controversial plan to reform the nation’s court system on Saturday.
For their thirteenth weekly protest, the demonstrators assembled in Tel Aviv, the commercial center of Israel on the Mediterranean, and held Israeli flags and banners against what they claimed were attempts to weaken the Supreme Court.
There were several smaller protests in other towns and cities.
Since the amendments were made by Netanyahu’s cabinet, which is the most right-wing in the nation’s history, protests have been ongoing.
Netanyahu said he wanted to “prevent civil war” by giving himself time to seek a solution with his rivals on Monday, delaying the revamping plan that had caused such a rift among Israelis. The proposals should be abandoned, protest organizers said, and they pledged to keep up the pressure.
The proposal has sparked the most significant domestic crisis to hit Israel in decades. Top economists, business executives, and past heads of security have all spoken out against the proposal, claiming it is driving the nation closer to authoritarianism.
The country’s currency, the shekel, has fallen in value, and fighter pilots and military reservists have threatened to skip work.
According to the proposal, Netanyahu, facing corruption charges, and his cronies would have the last say in choosing the judges for the country.
Additionally, it would restrict the Supreme Court’s capacity to examine laws by granting authority to parliament, which is run by its loyalists, to overrule court rulings.
Netanyahu has maintained that the reform is necessary to control an unelected, liberal, and too-intrusive court.
Yet, his opponents claim that the package will harm the nation’s system of checks and balances by consolidating power in the hands of Netanyahu’s allies. They further claim that there is a conflict of interest because he is a criminal defendant.