Tens of thousands march to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv to protest Israel’s judicial overhaul

July 22 (UPI) — Tens of thousands of protesters entered Jerusalem late Saturday after a five-day march from Tel Aviv to protest plans to overhaul the judiciary in Israel. Critics have been protesting the proposed legislation for 29 weeks.

The number of protesters had grown to about 20,000 by Saturday night, despite temperatures approaching 100 degrees F in the country of about 9.7 million people, The New York Times reported.

The protesters are on the way to the Knesset, the country’s governing unicameral parliament, as an eleventh-hour bid to stop the passage of a bill that would prevent the judiciary from overruling the government on certain issues. The vote is expected to take place Sunday morning.

Advocates for the bill think it would let the government better implement policies supported by voters while critics view the measure as a blow to democracy that removes one of the primary checks on the power of the government.

“We’re marching because the government, to make a long story short, is trying to turn us into a dictatorship,” Navot Silberstein, a 31-year-old marcher, told The New York Times. “We won’t live in a country where the government has too much power over us.”

As noted by The Times of Israel, traffic in the area slowed to a crawl as the protesters, who did not purposefully block traffic, caused the “inevitable disruption.”

Protesters are also expected to demonstrate outside the home of Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and on Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street — a major thoroughfare in the city.

Critics of the legislation include large swaths of the country’s military. More than 1,100 Israeli Air Force reservists, including more than 400 pilots, sent a letter Friday announcing they would suspend their volunteer reserve duty to protest the judicial overhaul.

Authored by Upi via Breitbart July 22nd 2023