Despite registering a more muted tone in the wake of this weekend’s Jerusalem terror attacks, tens of thousands gather on Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street to protest the government’s sweeping judicial reform platform.
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the plan to increase political control at the expense of the courts is restoring balance among authorities, critics and protesters decry the measures as threats to liberal democracy.
Under a sign emblazoned with “doctors are fighting for the life of democracy,” stands Yarden Dor, 30, from Tel Aviv.
The medical intern said she joined the protest because she is worried about “what’s going on now with [politicians’] statements about the Supreme Court,” including plans to take political control over judicial appointments and to pass laws to neuter its oversight over the Knesset.
“It started with this and it can go to how to work in our hospitals and what kind of patients to take care of,” she adds.
In a change from last week, the steady throb of drumbeat and chanting from a megaphone are the only music on the street, after protester organizers cut more of the carnival-like elements in the wake of two terror attacks that claimed seven lives in the Israeli capital.
Nevertheless, protesters still flocked to several sites across Israel.
“I think we should protest every week, even with” the terror attacks, Dor says. “Something is wrong here.”