Israeli protesters stage ‘day of disruption’ against Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Israeli protesters stage ‘day of disruption’ against Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul

Tens of thousands take to the streets across Israel, while in the UK Israeli ambassador Tzipi Hotovely's appearance at Kinloss synagogue is also met with a protest

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Banner at Tel Aviv demo (pic Danielle Bett)
Banner at Tel Aviv demo (pic Danielle Bett)

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Israel in protest at Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right coalition as it pressed ahead with a justice bill that many claim threatens the democratic future of the state.

On what was labelled a day of “disruption and resistance” police on horseback  were deployed among hundreds of demonstrators in Israel’s business hub, Tel Aviv. 

At the entrance to Jerusalem, officers used a water cannon to disperse some protesters and dragged others away by force. 

While 1,000 police were deployed at Ben Gurion airport, outside Tel Aviv, where thousands of protesters waved national flags and banners warning about the increasingly authoritarian government.

There were demonstrations in other cities including  Haifa, Petach Tikva, Beer Sheva, Hod Hasharon.

Police said 79 people had been arrested as violence flared at some of the protests.

Singer Aviv Gefen ahead of his arrest at Tel Aviv demo

Famous Israeli singer Aviv Gefen, who had appeared to move away from his left-wing stance in recent years, even apologising to settlers in the West Bank for critical comments he had made, was among those arrested at the Tel Aviv demo. 

One banner on display at the Tel Aviv demo compared Israel’s drift towards “dictatorship” with the Iranian regime in Tehran.Another said:”Rage Rage Rage Against The Dying of Democracy.”

While another warned the Netanyahu government “Hands Off Women’s Rights.”

Banner at Tel Aviv protest

In the UK, Israeli expats staged smaller protests outside the embassy on London’s Kensington High Street. Meanwhile there was also a demonstration staged outside Kinloss United Synagogue in Finchley, where Israeli ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely was appearing at an event.

In a speech outside the shul, protestor Matan Aderet, an Israeli living in London, said prime minister Netanyahu “is a dictator.”

Defend Israeli Democracy protest outside Kinloss Synagogue

To cries of “shame, shame, shame” he told a crowd of around 100 activists carrying Israeli flags outside Kinloss, “please British Jewry do not support dictatorship in Israel. British Jewry reject dictatorship.”

He slammed far-right ministers Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich as “terrorists” and said ambassador Hotovely represented a “criminal government” and called for her to “quit your job.

The United States has called for the independence of the judiciary to be protected and urged Netanyahu to try to build consensus for the proposals. It also said Israel should respect the right of peaceful protest.

The new bill won a first of three required votes to be written into law late on Monday to the cries of “for shame” by opposition lawmakers.

If passed as is, it would curb the Supreme Court’s power to quash decisions made by the government, ministers and elected officials by ruling them unreasonable.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: