‘Israeli’ Protesters Block Roads as Netanyahu Nixes Herzog Proposal
Story Code : 1047118
Acts of disruption and protest began before dawn, with demonstrators painting a bright red line in the street leading up to the ‘Supreme Court’ in occupied al-Quds, saying it symbolized the direct link between the independence of the courts and free speech.
The ‘Israeli’ police said they arrested five settlers for vandalizing public property.
Leading the early morning protests were a group of ‘Israeli’ military reservists, known as “Brothers in Arms.” One group of navy veterans blocked the entrance to Haifa port.
Another group set up an “army recruitment center” outside the municipality building in Bnei Brak, saying, “We have come to pass the burden of recruiting to the ultra-Orthodox population because if there is a dictatorship here, we will have to come here and recruit. We repeat that without democracy, there is no ‘people’s army.’”
Protesters also blocked the main road in the city.
In Rehovot, members of the group began setting up sandbags around the magistrate’s court, declaring they were protecting the courts from “attacks from criminals trying to carry out a coup.”
A group of demonstrators also blocked the main coastal highway near Beit Yanai, with several dozen settlers walking into the road.
Several protesters driving tractors slowly on Route 4 caused traffic to back up for miles.
“Tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of ‘Israelis’ will go out” and protest in planned nationwide demonstrations Thursday, organizers said in a statement Wednesday. They said “determined protest” was the only chance to “stop the regime coup,” after Netanyahu and members of his right-wing, far-right, and ultra-Orthodox coalition quickly rejected a long-percolating proposal by Zionist President Isaac Herzog for a compromise on the contentious package of legislation.
The plan will allow the government to override court decisions with the barest majority, and put the selection of all judges in the hands of coalition politicians.
The overhaul plans have drawn intense public criticism and fierce opposition across ‘Israel’, sparking mass protests and dire warnings from economists, legal professionals, academics, and security officials. Protesters have been pouring into the streets since January.
“This is the moment of truth for ‘Israelis’,” organizers said Wednesday.
According to the organizers, protests are planned in some 150 locations across the occupation entity, including multiple sites in Tel Aviv, al-Quds, Haifa, and at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Protesters are expected to block main thoroughfares, and rally outside the residencies of top government officials including the Tel Aviv residence of Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana.
Herzog’s proposed framework addresses critical aspects of the relationship between ‘Israel’s’ branches of government.
Shortly after Herzog published his offer, and before departing on a visit to Berlin, Netanyahu said the “central elements of the proposal he offered just perpetuate the existing situation, and don’t bring the necessary balance between the branches.”
“Any attempt to reach an agreement and talk is surely appropriate,” Netanyahu added, but blamed the opposition for not being willing to come to the table.
Given its resounding rejection of the Herzog framework, the coalition is expected to press on with its fast-advancing legislation.
Meanwhile, so-called ‘Justice Minister’ Yariv Levin has said he seeks to enact the entire legislation package before the Knesset breaks for Passover at the end of the month.