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Democracy protestors clog airport, close seaport over ‘reasonableness’ clause

TJI Wrap
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Israel protests mark six months and escalate over ‘reasonableness’ clause

Published: 4 July 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

A key piece of judicial overhaul legislation is up for a vote, reigniting mass disruption as democracy protests hit six months of weekly demonstrations.

The protest movement against the Netanyahu government’s planned judicial overhaul has gained new momentum ahead of a Knesset committee vote on a key piece of legislation.

Thousands of anti-government protesters converged on Israel's Ben Gurion Airport on Monday, some scuffling with police who sought to keep them from blocking access to the terminal for most flights in and out of the country.

Protesting against a plan by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to overhaul the judiciary, dozens in the crowd entered the arrivals hall dancing and with megaphones chanted, "Democracy!" Police officers eventually escorted them out.

Earlier in the day, demonstrators briefly shut off access to the country's major seaport in Haifa.

Tens of thousands of people protested around the country for the 26th week, invoking the “reasonableness standard,” a clause that gives the Supreme Court the power to block government decisions that it finds unreasonable.

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee has begun debating a bill that would reduce the courts’ power to apply the reasonableness standard. The Bill would have allowed the Knesset to pass legislation that was immune from judicial review, which Hebrew media refer to as an “override clause.”


Six months of protest | Tens of thousands rally as Israel’s protest movement regains momentum ahead of key judicial coup vote (Haaretz)

In U-turn, Netanyahu said to reassure ministers override clause has not been shelved (Times of Israel)


Israeli Air Force reservists consult legal experts on renewing anti-judicial overhaul protest (Haaretz)
This comes in response to the collapse of compromise talks and the Netanyahu government pushing forward legislation to restrict the courts' use of the reasonableness standard, which one expert says shows intent to accrue unlimited power (Haaretz)

How Israel’s government can ensure tech sector recovery (Al Monitor)
Data shows that fundraising for Israeli technology firms fell more than 65% in the second quarter from over $US5 billion in the same period in 2022.

Photo: Israeli protester wearing “anti-dictatorship” t-shirt (Noam Revkin Fenton)

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