For ten weeks now, the protest has not weakened. Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Israel on Saturday, March 11, to protest against the reform of the judicial system that the government is trying to impose.

The right-wing and far-right coalition of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is preparing to speed up the legislative process from Sunday, the first day of the week in Israel, to push through this reform, considered undemocratic by its detractors .

As on previous Saturdays, the main rally is taking place in central Tel Aviv where protesters, numbering more than 100,000 according to media reports, waved blue and white Israeli flags.

Records d’affluence

Other demonstrations are taking place in the main cities of the country. According to Israeli media estimates, Saturday’s rallies broke attendance records in the cities of Haifa (north) and Beersheba (south), with 50,000 and 10,000 people respectively. The Israel Police does not provide estimates of the number of protesters.

Knesset (Parliament) Law Committee Chairman Simcha Rothman has scheduled hearings on the judicial reform bill every day from Sunday to Wednesday. He thus seems to reject calls to slow down or interrupt the examination of the texts in the Knesset to allow compromise negotiations and to stick strictly to the timetable he had announced with the Minister of Justice, Yariv Levin.

This timetable calls for the adoption of the main elements of the reform before the end of the Knesset’s winter session on April 2. This reform would considerably limit the possibility for the Supreme Court to invalidate laws and would effectively give the majority political coalition the power to appoint judges. On Thursday night, Israeli President Isaac Herzog called for a halt to the legislative process on the judicial reform bill, calling it “a threat to the foundations of democracy.”