Protest leaders call for nationwide strike Monday against judicial overhaul

Former Israeli minister of defense Moshe Ya'alon speaks during a protest against the proposed changes to the legal system, in Tel Aviv, on January 21, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Former Israeli minister of defense Moshe Ya'alon speaks during a protest against the proposed changes to the legal system, in Tel Aviv, on January 21, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Protest leaders are calling for a nationwide strike on Monday against the government’s planned overhaul of the judicial system.

They are also calling for a mass protest in Jerusalem.

“The State of Israel is in a leadership and political crisis, the likes of which we have not known since the declaration of independence,” says former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon at a press conference.

“Many citizens are anxious about the future of the state. Majority rule is not the tyranny of the majority, this legislative initiative is a regime coup,” he says.

“The government is criminal and illegal. A black flag flies above it,” says Ya’alon, calling on labor and other organizations to allow their workers to take part in the strike.

The Netanyahu coalition is pushing a dramatic judicial restructuring that would increase government control over the judiciary. Critics say that along with other planned legislation, the sweeping reforms will impact Israel’s democratic character by upsetting its system of checks and balances, granting almost all power to the executive branch, and leaving individual rights unprotected and minorities undefended.

The plan has drawn intense criticism and warnings from leading financial and legal experts, as well as weekly mass protests and public petitions by various officials, professionals, and private companies.

Netanyahu has pushed back against the criticism, saying that the proposals would strengthen democracy rather than hasten its end, and that his government was carrying out the will of the people.

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