Mass protests paralyze Israel over judicial bill

(Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — Amidst fervent protests, Israeli demonstrators took to the streets, blocking roads and staging demonstrations at various locations including Ben-Gurion Airport, as part of a "Day of Resistance." The protests were in response to the Reasonableness Standard Bill, which passed its first reading in the Knesset on Monday night, according to Hebrew media reports.اضافة اعلان

The wave of dissent continued to swell throughout the day, with additional protests planned in West Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Eilat, and numerous other cities, towns, and junctions.

"This is a crucial moment for citizens to rise up and defend Israeli democracy," declared the Kaplan Force protest movement. "The distressing spectacle witnessed last night in the plenary serves as a stark reminder to every citizen of the magnitude of this hour. Against the coalition that exhibits dictatorial tendencies, it is only the people who can save Israel."

The proposed "reasonableness standard bill" aims to amend Basic Law: The Judiciary, thereby preventing Israel's courts from employing the "reasonableness standard" in evaluating decisions made by elected officials. Under the reasonableness standard, a common law doctrine, the judiciary has the power to review and challenge government administrative decisions that exceed what a responsible and reasonable authority should undertake.

Tensions escalated during the protests, with police resorting to water cannons to disperse demonstrators on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, resulting in one injury. In the aftermath of the bill's first Knesset reading, numerous roads were blocked, amplifying the impact of the demonstrations.

Meanwhile, departing US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said the Biden administration is working to prevent Israel from “going off the rails” as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline expedites its judicial overhaul push, in light of widespread opposition and intensifying anti-government protests.

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