‘Not giving up’: Thousands rally outside Knesset to protest judicial reform vote

“We will continue to work across all fronts, here in the Knesset, in the streets, in the courts,” Lapid state.

By World Israel News Staff

Opponents of the Israeli government’s judicial reform plan gathered en masse in Jerusalem Monday afternoon to protest a Knesset vote on two key measures.

With the Knesset poised to vote on measures barring the Supreme Court from overturning amendments to the Basic Law and increasing the government’s role in appointing new judges, Opposition Leader MK Yair Lapid condemned the vote, claiming it marked the annulment of Israeli democracy.

“The government is bringing to a vote two laws to annul democracy in Israel. Every effort to bring about dialogue, that of the President Herzog, the Opposition, civil society, even the Americans, has been met with total refusal.”

Lapid vowed that the protest movement would continue on, defying the government as it works to pass its entire judicial reform plan.

“We will continue to work across all fronts, here in the Knesset, in the streets, in the courts,” he said. “We are working for the future of our children, for the future of our country and we do not intend to give up.”

Outside the Knesset, tens of thousands of protesters rallied, waving flags and carrying banners decrying the reform plan as a threat to Israeli democracy.

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A parallel protest was organized in Haifa ahead of the Knesset vote.

Earlier on Monday, thousands of protesters shut down roads across the country, including Route 1, the primary thoroughfare linking Tel Aviv with Jerusalem.

Smaller groups of protesters confronted Coalition lawmakers at their homes, attempting to prevent them from reaching the Knesset.

One group of demonstrators blocked the car of MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party), the chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee – and one of the two architects of the judicial reform plan.

The Knesset is slated to vote on the two measures Monday evening.

If the bills pass their first reading, as they are widely expected to, they will need to be brought before the Knesset for two more votes before they become law.