Protesters walked out of the Israeli parliament before the vote | Objections


Anti-government protesters are trying to block a law that would limit the powers of Israel’s Supreme Court.

Anti-government protesters have been dragged out of the building Israel’s parliamentor the Knesset, ahead of a vote on a bill that would limit the powers of the country’s Supreme Court.

The protesters were sitting inside the building on Monday when they were removed by the parliament’s security forces.

A statement from the Knesset Speaker’s office was later quoted by the Times of Israel that “the police complaint was against the protesters for the purpose of disrupting peace and democracy”.

The protesters are part of a group protesting the actions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weakening the power of the judiciarywhich has led to months of protests and political crisis.

Parliament is scheduled to vote on the bill for the first time on Monday evening.

With 64 of the 120 seats in parliament, Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition looks set to win the vote, the first of three needed for the new law to be signed into law, and protests are likely to increase if it does.

The new law seeks to limit the power of the Supreme Court to overturn decisions made by the government, ministers and elected officials by judging them unwisely.

Critics say such a law encourages corruption and abuse of power. Critics say this will improve governance by preventing the intervention of the courts.

“It’s not the end of democracy, it’s the strengthening of democracy,” Netanyahu said in a video released as the Knesset debated the bill.

“Even if they are changed, the legal and human rights of Israel will not be harmed in any way. The court will continue to monitor the legitimacy of the government and put the people,” Netanyahu said.

His words did not comfort the critics.

The noise of protesters who gathered outside the Supreme Court before leaving for the parliament could be heard clearly at the nearby Bank of Israel, after the bank’s Governor Amir Yaron urged the government to find more agreements on legal reforms that would protect the freedom of associations.

“The continued uncertainty is worth having more money,” Yaron told reporters, referring to the shekel’s devaluation and the poor performance of Israel’s stock market.

Netanyahu – who is accused of crimes he denies – has cut back on campaign finance. On Sunday he expressed impatience with renewed protests as protesters vowed nationwide riots on Tuesday if the bill passed the first vote.

The division over Netanyahu’s reforms has run deep within the Israeli community. He paused to negotiate with Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s opposition, but that collapsed in June and the deal was re-introduced into law.

Herzog called on the parties to resume negotiations to resolve “important issues that divide us”.


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