Pro-overhaul activists place 250 kg of bananas near High Court to decry ‘banana republic’

Activists in favor of the government’s judicial overhaul dress as bananas and place 250 kilograms (550 lbs) of bananas near the entrance to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, decrying Israel allegedly becoming a “banana republic” in a display that opens a day of dueling demonstrations as the High Court of Justice holds a crucial hearing on petitions to nullify the government’s reasonableness law.

The divisive law cancels the court’s ability to block government actions and appointments using the legal concept of reasonableness. Significantly, the law is an amendment to one of Israel’s quasi-constitutional Basic Laws and proponents of the legislation argue that the court has no right of judicial review over such laws.

The petitioners, an array of government watchdog and civil society organizations, argue that the Basic Law amendment severely harms Israel’s democracy.

But the right-wing demonstrators from the Im Tirtzu organization — which asked to, but wasn’t allowed to formally be added to the court case — argue that voiding the law and even discussing the petitions is akin to Israel becoming a “banana republic” ruled by the 15 justices of the top court, who will all hear today’s hearing.

“The fact that none of the 15 justices didn’t publicly demand canceling the hearing is a mark of Cain on Israeli democracy,” the activists say. “They think they’re saving democracy, but they’re actually destroying it and turning Israel into a banana republic.”

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