Tens of thousands at main Tel Aviv protest

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Israelis protest against the government's judicial overhaul in Tel Aviv's Kaplan Street on July 18, 2023 (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
Israelis protest against the government's judicial overhaul in Tel Aviv's Kaplan Street on July 18, 2023 (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

Tens of thousands of anti-judicial overhaul protesters have converged upon Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street, as capstone to their Day of Resistance.

Despite the tightly packed crowd, energy is a bit lower on Kaplan Street itself than in past demonstrations, with protesters citing the extreme heat and daylong activities as contributing factors to the relative lethargy.

Some demonstrators hand out free water bottles to attendees, alongside courtesy protest swag.

A band plays out of a converted truck, making statements about social unity before each song in their set.

But not all protesters are focusing their energy on the coalition’s imminent plan to reduce judicial checks on the cabinet, but rather came to express their frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government itself.

Uri, 70, says that “Netanyahu is a criminal” and that his ultra-Orthodox political partners do not share the burden in supporting the state’s finances and security.

“We, the secular people, pay a ton of money and they don’t even go to the army,” he says about Israel’s Haredi communities. “It’s not just the reform, it’s the Haredim, the corruption,” he adds. “We don’t want these people.”

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