Israel: Angry demonstrations sweep the streets of Tel Aviv and other cities against the controversial judicial reform

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Thousands of Israelis demonstrated Saturday in Tel Aviv and other cities against the right-wing government’s judicial reform plan, which opponents consider a threat to democracy.

The reform package has divided Israelis and sparked one of the largest protest movements in the country’s history since it was unveiled in January by the ruling coalition of far-right and ultra-religious parties.

Protesters continue to put pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government with weekly protests across the country.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered Saturday in Tel Aviv, some waving Israeli flags and chanting “democracy, democracy,” according to Israeli media.

The government considers the reform, which would give politicians more power over the judiciary, a necessary step to ensure a better balance of powers.

Opponents fear that reform will pave the way for an authoritarian drift.

Last month, Israeli Knesset passed the first major provision of the reform package, which limits judicial oversight of some government decisions.

Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges, said he was ready to negotiate with the opposition despite the failure of previous mediation efforts.

The legislative track is currently suspended and will resume with the return of Parliament from its summer recess in October.

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