Taking to the Streets

12 January 2023
Participants from NIF’s Naomi Chazan Global Activism Fellowship are pictured with Omdim Beyachad signs that read “The settler government is against me.”

Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Habima Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest against the policies of the new government and in particular the sweeping changes it plans to make to Israel’s judicial system by weakening the Supreme Court.

NIF grantee Omdim Beyachad (Standing Together) led the protest. The New Israel Fund provided a special grant for the numerous civil society organizations which arranged the rally, while Shatil played a role in coordinating and synchronizing among the groups participating in this major show of strength.

Israelis took to the streets to protest Minister of Justice Yariv Levin’s plan to weaken judicial independence by allowing the Knesset to override the Supreme Court’s judicial review of new laws that negate basic rights by a simple majority. Levin also wants to change the way Supreme Court justices are chosen by installing politicians as the majority on the selection committee.

Demonstrators also protested against the subordination of Israel Police to new Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir; the appointment of Aryeh Deri as Minister of Interior, and Health, even though he has been convicted of serious crimes; the appointment of the Prime Minister’s political cronies to senior positions; and the legalization of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

NIF also supported grantee Tag Meir for its demonstration outside the Knesset on the day that the new government was sworn, as well as a demonstration for LGBTQ+ rights on the same day.

NIF will continue to protest and campaign to protect Israel’s democracy and support the activists and organizations who are with us.