Could this be the start of an alert for Benyamin Netanyahu and his far-right allies? Saturday evening January 14 in Tel Aviv, 80,000 demonstrators braved the pouring rain to denounce the Israeli government’s reform projects. Israelis of all ages have come to express their concern at the institutional upheaval that is coming. The project of the inoxidable Prime Minister, himself charged with corruption, is to increase the power of elected officials over the Supreme Court.
In Israel, the latter plays a key role: that of guardian of the Fundamental Laws which serve as the Constitution. Throughout his political career, Binyamin Netanyahu has constantly come up against her and her judges. Even today, the institution risks complicating the realization of some of its electoral promises, negotiated with the parties of the religious right.
Certainly, “Bibi” has seen others: he will not fail to ironize about the good-natured nature of the processions, the vagueness of the slogans and especially the fragmentation of their political representation. And he won’t be completely wrong. Yaïr Lapid, the leader of the opposition, was not in the street. And the leader of the Labor Party, Merav Michaeli, was booed for having refused, during the November elections, to merge her lists with those of Meretz.
All the same, more and more voices are being raised alarmed at the questioning of certain founding values of the country, even the advent of an “illiberal democracy”. Saturday’s demonstration proves that awareness goes beyond the “debate” pages of the newspapers. Will it go beyond the “secular” middle class? The deep weariness of Israelis with regard to public affairs in general, and their political class in particular, calls for caution.
Leave a Reply