Tens of thousands of people protested in Tel Aviv Saturday night against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s proposed changes to the Israeli judicial system.
Despite pouring rain over the city, police estimated that more than 80,000 people flooded central Tel Aviv’s HaBima square and surrounding streets, according to Israeli media, while others took to the streets in Jerusalem for parallel protests.
Attendees held signs comparing Netanyahu to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and saying Israel was turning into the likes of semi-democratic Hungary and theocratic Iran.
Protesters told CNN they came out of fear for Israel’s future and to send a message to Netanyahu that the public wouldn’t stand for what they see as the dismantling of Israeli democracy.
Esther Hayut, the president of Israel’s Supreme Court, on Thursday attacked the proposed changes as “an unbridled attack on the legal system” and said they were “designed to force a fatal blow on the independence of the judicial system.”
The proposed reforms, announced last week by Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin, would seek to reform Supreme Court nominations via a review committee, and enable parliament to overturn Supreme Court rulings.