The Brothers in Arms movement, which represents members of the reserve army and veterans of the armed forces, said it would hold demonstrations throughout the night outside the home of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Amikam in northern Israel. “We will be joined by the Chiefs of Staff and generations of generals from the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), Mossad (intelligence), Shin Bet (security) and police commanders,” Brothers in Arms said.
Demonstrations were held across Israel on Saturday night for the 27th consecutive weekend against the Netanyahu government’s plans for judicial reform and its efforts to reduce the powers of the justice system, the Times of Israel reported. Crowd Solutions, a protest estimator, told Channel 13 that some 140,000 people demonstrated in Tel Aviv and tens of thousands more elsewhere, according to aerial footage. The organizers claimed that the total number of participants in Tel Aviv was close to 180 thousand people.
Protest leaders are expressing anger over the coalition’s plan to pass a first reading in the Knesset (the country’s parliament) on Monday on a bill that would deprive courts of the ability to rule on “reasonableness.” of government decisions. Speaking at a large rally in Tel Aviv, world-renowned Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari said: “The time has come to stop the Netanyahu government.” “We are allowed to and should be angry at what the Netanyahu government is doing to the Israeli dream,” he added. Professor Hagai Levin, who represents doctors who oppose Netanyahu’s plans, warned that the healthcare system could face major strikes if the bill passes. “The health system will start to function in a state of emergency, because this is a state of emergency,” Levin said.
Before the protests, the Israeli police said they would support the right to protest but “will show zero tolerance for rioting, damage to government infrastructure and symbols, and harm to police officers.”