In Tel Aviv, a huge crowd booed Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition

This is the most important demonstration since the swearing in, on December 29, of this government that brings together the right-wing, ultra-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, the most right-wing in the history of this country. Just over nine million people.

At around 9 p.m., Habima Square in central Tel Aviv was full and the crowd was pouring into nearby streets, according to AFP journalists on the scene.

In the absence of official estimates, several media outlets reported that 80,000 protesters had gathered there, citing this Police sources.

Smaller rallies were held simultaneously in Jerusalem, where about 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside the residence of Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Mr Netanyahu, according to local media, as well as in Haifa, the main northern city of the country.

The demonstrators responded to the call of the Anti-Corruption Organization about slogans calling for it Save democracy prevent Overthrow the regime The policy in force in Israel since its establishment in 1948.

The center and left parties as well as the Hadash-Tal coalition of Arab parties called on Israelis to demonstrate in particular against the justice reform introduced on January 4 by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been prosecuted in several cases of alleged corruption.

They are also calling for the resignation of the prime minister because of these cases.

Protesters in Habima Square in Tel Aviv

Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen

Added to this are other dissatisfied people: opponents of Israeli colonization in the West Bank or the Occupied Palestinian Territories or defense movements. LGBTQ Concerned about the presence of homophobic ministers in the government.

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In Habima Square, the atmosphere was nice. Many Israelis came with their families despite the rain and demonstrators chanted their slogans under a sea of ​​umbrellas, a journalist fromFrance Press agency.

Several political figures attended, including Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli, former Defense Minister Benny Gantz and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The situation is alarming and frighteningsaid Aya Tal, 22, who works in high technology.

They want to take our rights. It scares me to tell myself we let things happen in silence […]. we must unite. »

Quote from Aya Tal, protester

The banners held by the demonstrators reflected the diversity of the demands: It’s time to bring down the dictatorAnd Shame governmentAnd No democracy with occupationAnd Bibi does not want democracy, and we do not need fascists in the KnessetAnd You will love the other as you doWritten in Hebrew and Arabic.

But this is the motto Democracy and democracy who came up most often.

The audience Will not accept […] Destroying the values ​​that are the foundation of our systemFormer Supreme Court Justice Ayala Procacchia said while speaking on the podium.

We are at a fateful moment for the moral future of Israelshe added.

There is no formal written constitution

In the absence of a formal written constitution, the judiciary, in Israel, is the only one capable of controlling the government and preserving individual rights.

Critics of the judicial reform believe it would give the prime minister unlimited control, endangering Israeli democracy as it has existed since 1948. They say they fear a drift toward illiberal democracy.

From July 2020 to June 2021, the Black Flag Movement supported a long-running protest campaign against Mr. Netanyahu, calling for his resignation over the corruption scandals he has been involved in.

Leader of Likud, Israel’s great right-wing party, and record-holder for longevity at the helm of the Israeli government, Mr. Netanyahu was ousted from power in 2021 by a diverse electoral coalition that lasted less than a year.

At the end of December, he assumed the presidency of the new government after the legislative elections in November, the fifth in four years, the results of which testify to the division of the electorate and the internal divisions of society.

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