More than 200,000 people demonstrate across Israel against the first judicial reform law, which could be approved on Monday
22 (EUROPA PRESS)
The Israeli opposition group Brothers in Arms has announced this Saturday that another 10,000 reservists will stop providing voluntary service in protest against the judicial reform promoted by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and whose first law could be approved this Monday.
The announcement was made by the group at a press conference held in Herzliya, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, according to the newspaper ‘The Times of Israel’.
These 10,000 soldiers thus join the 1,100 Israeli Air Force reservists who announced by letter on Friday the suspension of volunteer service. Among them are 400 pilots.
During the protests, the former head of the Shin Bet or Israeli secret services for the interior Yuval Diskin has praised the announcements of resignation from the reservists’ voluntary service.
“Volunteerism and heroism on the battlefield have saved our country from its enemies. Extraordinary moments call for extraordinary actions. Volunteer resignation by reservists is clearly an unusual act, but it is legal, democratic, non-violent, and above all, a heroic act because I understand the enormous mental strength it requires,” Diskin argued.
“The time has come to decide on the suspension of the volunteering of the reservists until the reform is completely paralyzed and until they commit to making the changes only with a broad consensus,” he added.
In particular, he has rejected the argument of the military coup. “This is not a coup. It is not a rebellion. It is a desperate appeal to the coalition, the opposition and the president. Stop the destruction now,” she wrote.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli, of Netanyahu’s Likud party, has compared the reservists’ announcement to threats from the “mafia.” “The Knesset and the Government of Israel cannot afford to give in to protection threats from political rebels,” Chikli posted on Twitter.
“There is an attempt to take advantage of the military services to force the government to change its policy,” said Energy Minister Israel Katz.
The Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben, has defended the approval of the new law on Monday and has warned that it is only “the salad”.
Likud MP Eli Dallal has criticized this position. “We are in difficult days, with crowds of concerned citizens. We are all brothers and I love all Israeli citizens. I love very much those who are protesting against the reform. Public officials must calm down. The State of Israel will continue to be Jewish and democratic,” he indicated.
Along the same lines, Likud deputy Dan Illouz has called on the coalition to “embrace” the Israelis who are demonstrating against the judicial reform “instead of sticking fingers in their eyes.”
MORE THAN 200,000 PROTESTERS
This Saturday some 85,000 protesters against the judicial reform have arrived at the headquarters of the Knesset or Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem after a four-day march from Tel Aviv in a last attempt to stop the judicial reform.
The protesters have started an indefinite camp in Jerusalem’s Saker Park, next to the Knesset, to demand the stoppage of a reform that they consider harmful to the division of powers.
Meanwhile, on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv, the epicenter of the weekly protests that have shaken the country for 29 weeks, there are some 100,000 people. In Haifa there are 14,000 protesters and 10,000 more in Netanya.
The calculations rise to more than 200,000 participants in the dozens of concentrations and demonstrations called in the main Israeli cities.
VOTE ON MONDAY
Meanwhile, the Israeli prime minister has met with the deputies of the coalition and has underlined the previous position: if a consensus agreement with the opposition is not reached, this Monday the first judicial reform law will be approved as planned, which limits the ability of the courts to restrict, question and challenge the initiatives and decisions of the executive branch, according to Channel 12.
In addition, Channel 12 has assured that there have been no contacts over the weekend between the leaders of the coalition and the leaders of the opposition, Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz.
According to Channel 12 sources, Netanyahu would not be willing to agree to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s proposal to postpone the Knesset’s summer recess to give more time to reach an agreement, either.
For his part, the opposition leader, Yair Lapid, of the centrist Yesh Atid party, assured during an act in Moddin that he will have to choose between the law that is expected to be approved on Monday and the Israeli Armed Forces.
“There are only two possibilities for the government in the coming days: either destroy the country or destroy itself. Either destroy the Army, the economy and relations with the Americans, or not,” Lapid said, according to ‘The Times of Israel’. “Netanyahu has to choose whether he prefers the Israel Defense Forces or the ‘reasonableness’ clause” that nullifies the proposed law, he has riveted.