Tens of thousands of Israelis protest against justice reform plans

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The plans, which the government says are needed to curb excesses by judges, have drawn fierce opposition from groups including lawyers, and raised concerns among business leaders, widening already deep political divisions in Israeli society. .

“I’m here tonight to protest Israel’s transition from democracy to autocracy,” Dov Levenglick, 48, a software engineer told Reuters in Tel Aviv.

“It’s a disgrace, it shouldn’t stand.”

Netanyahu dismissed the protests as a refusal by leftist opponents to accept the results of last November’s election, which produced one of the most right-wing governments in Israel’s history.

Protesters said Israeli democracy would be weakened if the government succeeds in pushing through the plans, which would tighten political control over judicial appointments and limit the Supreme Court’s powers to overturn government decisions or laws. of the Knesset.

“They want to break Israel’s judicial system, they want to destroy Israeli democracy, and we are here every week in any weather… to fight against it and fight for Israeli democracy,” said Hadar Segal, 35. Reuters in Tel Aviv.

The Leader of the Opposition Yair Lapid joined the demonstrations in the coastal city of Haifa, where he said that the demonstrators “came to save their country, and we came to protest with them”.

(Reporting by Emily Rose; Editing by Mark Potter)

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