Massive protests broke out in Israel and New York City over the weekend in opposition to the government’s planned judicial overhaul under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The demonstrations gained momentum as the Prime Minister concluded his trip to the US to participate in the annual UN gathering, during which he outlined his vision for a “new Middle East.”
Demonstrators in Israel gathered on Saturday (Sept 23) for the 38th consecutive week to voice their anger against Netanyahu’s ‘assault on democracy.’ Around 2,000 Protesters also gathered in New York against what they say Netanyahu’s ‘campaign of deceit.’
A major protest group Kaplan Force said, “We will not allow Netanyahu to turn Israel into a dangerous messianic dictatorship, taking us to a constitutional crisis.” “The protests will be amplified over the coming weeks until the Knesset’s return from holidays,” it added.
Times of Israel in one of its reports said that some conservative groups also appeared in New York to show their support for the Netanyahu administration.
They chanted “64 mandates,” referring to the coalition’s majority in the 120-seat Knesset, and “their money will not help you.”
Netanyahu and his supporters believe the protests against the government are fueled by overseas funding but have failed to provide any evidence.
“We very much support democracy and the Israelis elected democratically Bibi Netanyahu, so sorry that these people are upset that they lost but a democracy is a democracy,” Netanyahu supporter Hillary Barr was quoted as saying by Times of Israel.
During the trip to the US, Netanyahu on Wednesday also had a meeting with US President Joe Biden where the US leader raised “hard issues,” including protecting the “checks and balances” in a democracy.