Tens of thousands of protesters have taken the streets of Tel Aviv waving the blue and white Israeli flag to show opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The protests have sparked violence within the country and increased tensions between Israeli citizens and their government.
Prime Minister Netanyahu plans new changes to expand the power of the Judicial branch of government. He has proposed changing the number of votes needed to override the supreme court rulings to only 61 out of 120 seats. Additionally, Netanyahu has proposed that politicians should elect most of the justices. The people of Israel disagree and feel these governmental changes will disengage democratic norms and take away the power of the common citizens to have a say in their government.
Citizens and foreign countries alike worry these changes will affect the traditional checks and balances system the country has developed. Joe Biden has openly expressed his concerns over these proposals and the protests sparked by the reforms through social media. The British Prime Minister also “stressed the importance of upholding the democratic values that underpin our relationship, including in the proposed judicial reforms.'' Many foreign leaders disagree with the proposed changes and are wary of their implications for the democracy of Israel as a whole.
Yoav Galant, defense minister, called for a pause on the judicial changes because of the alarming response from citizens and army members threatening to withdraw from voluntary duty. In response to Galant’s warnings, Netanyahu fired him, increasing protesters' anger towards the government.
While Netanyahu and his supporters believe these governmental changes will provide more stability between the branches of government, opposers view his actions as anarchist and a direct violation of the democratic powers of Israeli citizens.