Thousands still in the streets despite legislative pause announced

Protesters in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 1, 2023. REUTERS - RONEN ZVULUN

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In Israel, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposed pause for dialogue, protests continued across the country. "I don't have confidence. The feeling is that they are trying to put us to sleep," say some protesters.


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We will remain on the alert until the end " says David Grossman, at the microphone of our correspondent in Jerusalem, Michel Paul. In front of the Israeli president's residence in Jerusalem, the place where the dialogue between the parties takes place, the Israeli writer proclaims that the country's leaders who are pushing for this reform have made the mistake of their lives.

A legislative "pause" was announced on March 27 by Benjamin Netanyahu to give a "chance [...] to dialogue", after a day of intensification of protests, the beginning of a general strike and the appearance of tensions within the majority, triggered in particular by the announcement of the dismissal of the Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, who had declared himself in favour of a pause.

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But that didn't stop hundreds of thousands of protesters from marching across the country for this thirteenth week of protest. Roads were blocked and police intervened, including in Tel Aviv, to disperse groups of protesters. If there were a little less people than the previous Saturday nights, the mobilization remains very strong. No question of stopping. "We have to keep going and we have to go all the way," says Nathan Rujanski. Either there will be a democracy or there will be a dictatorship. This is not acceptable at all.


« The feeling is that we are trying to fall asleep »

For the government, the reform aims, among other things, to rebalance powers by reducing the prerogatives of the Supreme Court, which the executive considers politicized, to the benefit of Parliament. Critics of the reform, on the contrary, believe that it risks jeopardizing Israel's democratic principles by blowing up safeguards. They fear that it will pave the way for an illiberal or authoritarian drift.

Avital, a mother, is very worried about her children's future: "I don't have confidence. The feeling is that we are trying to fall asleep. Difficult days lie ahead, but we will not let this happen," she said. Next week will be Passover. Traditionally a period of truce.

► READ ALSO: Israel: the justice reform project has thrown a chill in relations with the United States

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  • Israel
  • Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Society
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