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Israel's anti-overhaul protesters block roads, clash with police

After the approval Monday night at a first reading of the Reasonableness Standard Bill, liming the authority of the Supreme Court, demonstrators are flooding Israeli cities on Tuesday.
Israeli border guards stand alert as anti-government demonstrators rally with national and pride rainbow flags behind barriers during a protest at Ben Gurion Airport near Lod, July 11, 2023.

Thousands of protesters have been flooding the streets in several Israeli cities and at main highway junctions, protesting since Tuesday morning against the government advancing a legislation that nabs Supreme Court control over government decisions or appointments deemed unreasonable. 

The proposed legislation is deemed by the government as an essential part of its judicial overhaul plan. 

Protests started already Monday night, when Israel’s parliament adopted at a first reading the amendment to the Basic Law: The Judiciary. "Whoever has judicial authority according to law, including the Supreme Court, will not judge or issue orders against the government, the prime minister, a Cabinet minister or another elected official as determined by law, regarding the reasonableness of their decision," the amendment states. In other words, the amendment cancels the standard of “reasonableness” in judicial review.

The amendment has yet to be approved at second and third Knesset readings in order to come into effect. The Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is expected to discuss the amendment proposal Tuesday afternoon/evening, and then vote on it at the end of next week. Once voted, the draft will be passed to the Knesset plenum for approval, apparently on July 30, the last day of the parliament’s summer session.  

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