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33 Weeks of Fighting for Israel’s Democracy

Andy Jacoby

Staff Writer


For the past 33 weeks, the people of Israel have fought against the Judicial overhaul that Netanyahu’s government is pushing. Netanyahu’s plan will eliminate the checks and balances between their supreme court and the Knesset that Israel relies on to maintain a healthy balance of power. Each weekend, thousands of people gather in Tel Aviv and throughout the country to protest the proposed overhaul. Over the weekend of August 19, over 100,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv alone.

Despite the protests, the judicial overhaul legislation has been slowly moving forward. On July 24, 2023, Israel’s Parliament approved a key part of the plan to dismantle Israel’s court system. This legislation abolished Israel’s “reasonableness doctrine.” The “reasonableness doctrine” is a practice used in high courts worldwide and essentially allows high courts to analyze a policy to ensure that it is reasonable. Now, Israel’s high court cannot block actions and policies it deems unreasonable, such as appointing Aryeh Deri as minister of finance when he has previous convictions of fraud and various other crimes.

For the protestors, this is a disaster. It dramatically increases the power held by the Knesset and removes some of the checks and balances that keep Israel’s government functioning. Some opposition leaders have called for a unity coalition in order to prevent further overhaul of the justice system. Many of the protestors disagree, arguing that any action that involves working with Netanyahu would be a betrayal of the public’s outcry against the bill.

Throughout these protests, Netanyahu has claimed that these changes to the Judicial System are protecting Israel's democracy. He intends to continue moving forward with them unless there is a massive change. In the coming weeks, we will see more action surrounding this legislation and more protests. One thing remains true; the Israeli people will not stand idly by while their democracy is dismantled.

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