‘Don’t make us angry’ – Protest leaders threaten gov’t over upcoming judicial reform bill

Futurist Yuval Harari threatened that if government unilaterally passes even “a single one of your regime coup bills, we will oppose you with every non-violent means we have.” Massive protests and disruptions are planned for Tuesday.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Leaders of the anti-judicial reform protest pledged to launch unprecedented demonstrations, including disruptions throughout the country, should legislation that would end the “reasonability” clause often cited by the Supreme Court be advanced by the Knesset on Monday.

Some 140,000 demonstrators were estimated to have gathered at the weekly anti-government rally on Saturday evening in Tel Aviv, with smaller rallies occurring in other cities.

Israeli author and futurist Yuval Noah Harari spoke at the demonstration, warning lawmakers not to advance legislation that would spark ire from anti-judicial reform activists.

“We are allowed to and must be angry for what the Netanyahu government is doing to the Israeli dream,” Harari said.

He added that should elected officials continue advancing judicial reform legislation, lawmakers will “will learn what happens when we are angry.”

Harari threatened that “if you unilaterally pass a single one of your regime coup bills, we will oppose you with every non-violent means we have.”

His remarks came shortly after protest groups released a statement pledging to “stop the country from functioning” if the government continues with judicial overhaul proposals.

Simultaneously, members of the Brothers in Arms organization held an all-night protest in front of the home of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, urging him to stop the legislation.

On Monday evening, the Knesset is scheduled to hold the first of three votes regarding a bill that would end the so-called “reasonability” clause, which would strip the Supreme Court of its power to interfere with laws and government decisions that it deems “unreasonable.”

Also speaking at the Tel Aviv rally, Dr. Hagai Levin said that should the bill advance, the medical system could be crippled by widespread strikes.

“The health system will start operating in a state of emergency — because this is a state of emergency,” Levin said.

In March 2023, the Histadrut labor organization ordered a likely illegal strike that saw hospitals, clinics, schools, businesses, and other institutions in the Jewish State shuttered in order to force judicial reform legislation to a halt.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, a vehement opponent of the judicial overhaul, recently told Channel 12 News that IDF soldiers and reservists should refuse to serve should the bill advance in the Knesset.

“When a law like that passes a first reading [in the Knesset], it is passed in order to prepare it for its second and third [final] readings. That marks the sounding of an alarm, a genuine alarm for the entire country,” he said.

“On that day,” Barak added, “I expect the pilots, the Military Intelligence Special Operations Division, to all repeat their warning: Netanyahu, watch out, the minute you try to turn the first reading into an actual law, we will not serve a dictatorship. Period.”

On Sunday morning, protest groups announced they were “issuing a final call for the government to stop the legislation, and not to bring for a first vote the first dictatorial law, which will give the government a blank check to act with extreme unreasonableness.”