Mass protests against the government’s judicial reform legislation continued around Israel for the eleventh week last night. Former governor of the Bank of Israel Jacob Frenkel spoke at the demonstration in Tel Aviv. “I am an Israeli who fears for the State of Israel and the people of Israel, and therefore I am here,” Frenkel said. “I worked with Rabin, with Peres, and after that I worked with Benjamin Netanyahu. I worked with Arik Sharon, Ehud Barak, and Olmert. All this gallery of politicians never knew whether I voted for them, and not one of them asked. For all of them, I was a professional committed to the law, to the economy, and to the state.
“When I started out 30 years ago, it was impossible to recruit investors. There was inflation and so investors didn’t want to invest. What a long way we have come to becoming the startup nation! We must not take the risk of losing our important human resource. We have heard the head of the Mossad, the heads of the Shin Bet, the head of the Atomic Energy Commission, IDF officers, leading academics. All of them giving warnings. Who has the right to ignore this?
“We have so much to lose. All the rating agencies, the investors, economists in Israel and around the world, are warning us of the danger we face.”
Addressing Netanyahu, Frenkel said, “Only you have the power to prevent a slide into the abyss. Stop the craziness now and recalculate the route.”
Speaking at a rally in Herzliya, referring to proposals from Likud to appoint three Supreme Court Judges this year in place of judges due to retire and then pause the judicial reforms, National Unity party leader Benny Gantz said, “They continue with political tricks. Now they want a ‘small appointment round’ – three judges and we’ll stop. Stop and we’ll talk, there are no other ways to settle this. The situation is liable to degenerate into civil strife. We refuse to be enemies and we are not prepared to allow any politician to divide us.”
In an estimate published by Channel 13, events management company Crowd Solutions put the number attending the Tel Aviv rally at 175,000. The organizers claimed 225,000. Tens of thousands attended demonstrations in other parts of Israel.
About twenty Likud supporters with a placard saying “Leftist Traitors” confronted demonstrators in Tel Aviv. The police prevented anti-government demonstrators from reaching them. In Herzliya, a 57 year-old man was arrested after hitting a demonstrator with his car. The demonstrator was taken to hospital with light injuries. Police also arrested a motorcyclist threatening demonstrators in Givatayim. Two out of a group of about 50 protestors who attempted to block the northbound Ayalon Highway were also arrested, as were seven protestors attempting to block Route 65 at Karkur Junction.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on March 19, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.