Israeli women form human chains to protest planned judicial overhaul

March 9, 2023 7:23 am

[Source: Reuters]

To mark International Women’s Day, thousands of Israeli women formed human chains on Wednesday.

Protesting the right-wing Israeli government’s planned judicial overhaul that would drastically limit the powers of the courts.

Several sectors of Israeli society have joined in weekly protests against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to limit the Supreme Court’s ability to rule against the legislature and the executive, while giving lawmakers decisive powers in appointing judges.

Article continues after advertisement

The women’s group joined the ongoing protests dressed clad in red, lining the popular Tel Aviv beach-front promenade, clapping and chanting “democracy.” Demonstrators at previous women’s protests have dressed in red cloaks and white bonnets, mimicking the popular Handmaid’s Tale television show and novel which depicts a dystopian reality whereby a brutal ultra-religious regime have stripped women of their rights.

“It’s supposed to be a happy day that we celebrate our rights but now we need to protest again,” protestor Moran Katzenstein told Reuters at a demonstration in Jerusalem. “We all wear red and we show that we are drawing a red line and we will not allow this government to harm our rights.”

Waving signs that read “harming women’s rights, not on our shift” and “women’s struggle,” protesters demonstrated against the legislation, which Netanyahu proposed with his right-wing and religious allies last month.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday said a compromise in the government’s judicial overhaul plan could be imminent, but opposition leader Benny Gantz told Reuters at the women’s demonstration in Tel Aviv that they would not negotiate until the legislation is halted.

“Agreements can be reached, compromise on democracy we cannot reached,” Gantz said.

Women clad in red lined the popular Tel Aviv beach-front promenade, clapping and chanting “democracy.”

“We feel that every step of this reform is going to hurt women and take women’s rights back,” said Adi Agasi-Shafir in Tel Aviv.

“We are going to be deprived of all the rights and achievements that we managed to get so far, it’s really dangerous and we’re not willing to accept that,” Agasi-Shafir said.