Israelis gather outside parliament to protest government’s judicial reform plan

The grounds outside Israel's Knesset were filled with protesters expressing their opposition to the government's judicial reform plan.

Photo by ליזי שאנן on Wikimedia / CC BY 2.5

On February 13, tens of thousands of Israelis gathered outside the parliament building to protest against the government’s controversial judicial reform plan.

On Monday, Israel’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee voted to approve for first reading the Proposed amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary (Amendment—Strengthening the Separation of Powers).

According to a statement released by the Committee, “the bill stipulates, for the first time, that the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee will summon the candidates for a Supreme Court judicial office to appear before it prior to the Judges Selection Committee’s decision on their appointment.”

Outside Israel’s Knesset in Jerusalem, protesters filled the grounds and waved placards. The protestors are concerned the changes will limit the Supreme Court’s powers and hand additional control over to the government.

In a rare national address, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog warned that Israel was “on the verge of legal and social collapse.”

“I am appealing to you with a request not to introduce the bill for its first reading,” Herzog said.