Published 07/25/2023 16:02 | Edited 7/25/2023 4:44 PM
Protests against a law stripping the Supreme Court of power in Israel have intensified. Presented by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Parliament approved the first part of the judicial reform that limits the powers of the Supreme Court.
Netanyahu faces three corruption indictments and is looking for a way to avoid jail time.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Knesset, the Israeli state parliament, to protest against the passage of the bill called the “standard of reasonableness”.
The first of a series of proposals, the law passed by lawmakers prohibits courts from using the “standard of reasonableness” to overrule government or legislative decisions. In January, for example, the Supreme Court ordered the removal of Aryeh Deri, then number two in the government, due to a conviction for tax fraud. Deri had confessed to the crime.
The premier defends the reform to contain what he calls activism by the Justice. The opposition criticizes the proposal as it would remove the counterweights of a democratic rule of law. Experts claim that Israel is heading towards an authoritarian escalation along the lines of Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.
On Monday night, protesters took to the streets of the country’s main cities. In Tel Aviv, civilians gathered by the thousands in Kaplan, the center of the protests. On the outskirts of the city, a police car plowed into demonstrators, causing injuries.
In Jerusalem, under direct orders from Minister Itamar Bem Gvir, Minister of National Security and head of the far-right Jewish Force party, the police repressed the protests using jets of water known as “skunk water”.