Tens of thousands block roads, try stopping MKs from reaching Knesset for vote on judicial reform

Netanyahu slammed those who, in the name of “democracy,” tried to prevent the fundamental democratic right of lawmakers to vote.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Protestors against the government’s push for judicial reform blocked not only roads, but also the homes of several members of the Knesset Monday morning in an effort to prevent them from reaching the legislature to vote on its first two amendments.

They also blocked the home of a Likud lawmaker’s home, thus preventing her special-needs daughter from getting to her program.

A crowd gathered at the gate of the Gush Etzion community where the plan’s architect, Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman Simcha Rothman, lives, and tried blocking his cavalcade from leaving. They called for him to “turn yourself in” to the police, asking why the coalition was trying to “trample” Israel’s democracy.

Others surrounded Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter’s home in Ashkelon, as well as that of Education Minister Yoav Kisch in Ramat Gan. Several protestors were arrested outside of Kisch’s home.

“When protesters prevent public representatives from coming and voting in the Knesset, and make an autistic girl miserable, this is not a legitimate protest,” Prime Minister Netanyahu stated.

“The protesters who talk about democracy are the ones who bring about the end of democracy when they prevent public representatives from exercising the fundamental right in democracy – to vote. I call for the police to act immediately and allow the members of Knesset to reach the legislature.”

Read  'We, not the terrorists, will choose the time and place,' Netanyahu says; 'campaign is not yet over'

There are two items of reform on Monday’s table for their first readings. One would change the law regarding the Judicial Selection Committee in order to have a majority of 5-4 from the executive and legislative branches, instead of that same majority consisting of unelected judges and lawyers. It would also allow for a simple majority in choosing judges, rather than the current situation according to which seven of nine have to agree, which gives the three justices on the panel a natural veto.

The second amendment would ban the Supreme Court from hearing cases regarding any quasi-Constitutional Basic Laws passed in the Knesset.