Israel parliament passed the first of several laws that make up its contentious judicial overhaul. While protests still opposing the changes staged another day of demonstrations in Israel. Aimed at ringing an alarm about what they see as the country’s descent toward autocracy.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition approved legislation. That would protect the Israeli leader from being deemed unfit to rule. Along with his corruption trial and claims of a conflict of interest surrounding his involvement in the legal changes. Critics say the law is tailor-made for Netanyahu and encourages corruption. Also deepens a gaping chasm between Israelis over the judicial overhaul.
The legal changes have split the nation between those who see the new policies as stripping Israel of its democratic ideals. So those who think the country has been overrun by a liberal judiciary. The government’s plan has plunged the nearly 75-year-old nation into one of its worst domestic crises.
Either Israel will be a Jewish
“Either Israel will be a Jewish, democratic and progressive state or religious, totalitarian, failing, isolated and closed off. That’s where they are leading us,” said Tzipi Livni. A former foreign minister and a prominent supporter of the protest movement
The opposition is rooted in broad swaths of society. Including business leaders and top legal officials. Moreover the country’s military, seen as a beacon of stability by Israel’s Jewish majority, is enmeshed in the political conflict.
The law to protect Netanyahu passed 61-47 in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset, or parliament.
On Thursday, protesters launched a fourth midweek day of demonstrations. Again blocked major thoroughfares, set tires ablaze near an important seaport.
In addition to Thursday’s demonstrations, Israel saw tens of thousands of people have been showing up for weekly protests.
Critics say the government, is Israel’s most right-wing ever. So it is pushing the country toward authoritarianism with its overhaul. Which they say upends the country’s fragile system of checks and balances.