A nationwide "Day of Disorder" protesting judicial reform in Israel has begun with numerous demonstrations and roadblocks. Demonstrators waved blue and white national flags and, according to media reports, temporarily blocked the central coastal road and a main thoroughfare in central Tel Aviv.
They also locked the entrances of numerous schools with chains as a sign of protest. The protest also took place at sea: Participants with numerous boats and surfboards were out and about off the coast. According to the organizers, they also blocked access to the port of Haifa.
Netanyahu's trip should be prevented
The demonstrators also came to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport to block access roads there. The aim is to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from traveling to Italy. According to media reports, however, the Prime Minister wanted to come to the airport in a helicopter to bypass the roadblocks.
The reform is progressing despite fierce protests from large sections of the population. According to media reports, it could be approved in a fast-track procedure by April. According to plans by Netanyahu's right-wing religious government, parliament should in future be able to overturn decisions of the Supreme Court with a simple majority. In addition, politicians should be given more influence in the appointment of judges. The proposed law could also play into the hands of the head of government in a corruption process that has been ongoing against him for some time.
In an interview with the news site ynet, opposition leader Jair Lapid expressed concern that once the reforms were implemented, there could "never be another election" in Israel. "There will be no more democracy here," warned ex-Prime Minister Lapid, who lost last year's election to Netanyahu. Experts have also warned of the catastrophic impact of the reform on the Israeli economy.