Thousands of Jerusalemites protest government judicial overhaul outside President’s Residence
Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.
For the fourth week in a row, thousands of Jerusalemites gather outside the President’s Residence, demanding the cancellation of the government’s planned judicial overhaul.
Jerusalemites stood bundled up, umbrellas up against the steady drizzle, along with Israeli flags and signs.
The protest began with chants and speeches followed by the weekly march to Paris Square.
Speakers included Hebrew University law professor Yoav Dotan who spoke against the current government’s attempts to create “an all-out assault” on the police, army, and government ministries.
“The most important thing we can do is to be here,” says Dotan. “To win this battle, we’ll win it by being here, the thousands who are already here and bringing the thousands more who feel the same way. We need half a million in the streets.”
Nazier Magally, head of research at think-tank Shaharit, acknowledged that not many Arabic speakers — like him — were in the crowd.
“Not many Arabs come out, they don’t think they are part of this,” says Magally. “They have criticisms of the legal system, and they should take responsibility because there’s no question there’s what to correct in this system.”
The current leaders, says Magally, are scared of accents like his Arabic-accented Hebrew. The current leaders are scared of justice and democracy.
The last government didn’t get enough time to succeed, adds Magally, exhorting all Israelis to come out and protest, in order to be able to look in their children’s and grandchildren’s eyes and be able to tell them that they protested in the name of democracy.