“It’s 7 a.m. in Tel Aviv after a night of protests. Here’s what you need to know about Israel’s political crisis” – TTG

Fire burns as people attend a demonstration after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the defense minister and his nationalist coalition government presses on with its judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 27, 2023. REUTERS/Nir Elias

Massive crowds filled the streets of the Israeli city of Tel Aviv late Sunday night after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister over his opposition to a planned judicial overhaul. Israel has seen months-long protests over the planned judicial overhaul, which opponents say threaten the foundations of Israeli democracy. Here’s what you need to know about Israel’s deepening political crisis:

Mass protests: Waving Israeli flags and chanting “democratia,” protesters blocked streets and bridges, including the main Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv on Sunday. By the early hours protests had thinned out but live pictures from the scene showed security forces firing water cannons on protesters still gathered. Spontaneous protests also broke out in Jerusalem and other cities.

Defense minister fired: Protesters flooded the streets after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired defense minister Yoav Gallant in a one-line statement. In a speech Saturday night, called for a pause to controversial plans to overhaul the country’s court system, becoming the first member of the Cabinet to do so.

Other ministers speak out: Following Gallant’s comments, three other Israeli government ministers — all members of Netanyahu’s Likud party — suggested that the prime minister should stop the judicial overhaul legislation. They include Diaspora Affairs and Social Equality Minister Amichai Chikli, Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar and Economy Minister Nir Barkat, who warned the overhaul plan has brought the country to the brink of civil war. Meanwhile, Israel’s Consul General in New York, Asaf Zamir, resigned in response to Netanyahu’s decision to fire Gallant.

Universities to strike Monday: Universities in Israel will go on strike starting Monday, they announced, and the country’s largest labor union and business leaders said they would hold a news conference on Monday morning. The labor union, Histadrut, said its press conference with business leaders scheduled for 11 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) would be dramatic.

Controversial judicial overhaul: For months, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been taking to the streets across the country to protest far-reaching changes to Israel’s legal system. Under the proposals, the government would have control over the appointment of judges, and parliament would gain the power to override Supreme Court decisions. The government argues the changes are essential to rein in the Supreme Court, which they see as insular, elitist, and no longer representative of the Israeli people. Opponents say the plans threaten the foundations of Israeli democracy.


Comment: Bibi is running out of friends. I don’t know how far he is willing to take this or how far the Israeli people are willing to take it. I haven’t heard much out of DC on this, from Democrats or Republicans. I’m reminded of one of my father’s sayings, “they don’t know whether to sh!t or go blind.”


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32 Responses to “It’s 7 a.m. in Tel Aviv after a night of protests. Here’s what you need to know about Israel’s political crisis” – TTG

  1. Fourth and Long says:

    This in addition to several other events of the recent past which involve personalities we all know too well leaves me wondering if a Megalomania Inducing Virus has been crafted in some remote laboratory of a present day Dr Frankenstein and fed to various world leaders including now Bibi, or as my Russian acquaintances used to call him
    Nyet ‘n Yahu! I can’t find Yahu or Yahoo in any Russian – English dictionary, and I was too shy to inquire of them the meaning years ago, so I have to conclude they were making an observation about the phenomenon of people who greatly enjoy saying No!

    • Fourth and Long says:

      On a more serious note, TTG, the man may simply be losing it. Years ago I studied the subject of what happens to the aging brain with particular focus on famous leaders of the past. I was a humble observer in the company of distinguished doctors and psychoanalysts with long clinical experience who had a special interest in history. Some of the case studies were truly remarkable, going back as far as Julius Caesar and earlier. It’s quite surprising what goes on and how effectively people in general can be deceived (positively and negatively it needs to be said) especially when the elderly individuals were for a long time “beloved” leaders.

  2. Fourth and Long says:

    Holy cow, back to the comedy section – or is it horror? I can’t tell yet having only watched a couple of minutes, but don’t forget what can be done with deep fakes these days – in this tete a tete one on one we might better modify “deep fakes” to “freak dates!”

    London summoned their middle east hatchet man? Or Ceasar puts Herod on TV with Marcus Tulius Cicero? Yes, that’s too flattering to at least one of the parties here perhaps.

    Piers Morgan interviews Netanyahu – Full Interview.

    • KjHeart says:

      F & L

      I watched the entire interview – Thank you for the link.

      IF the Israel DOJ has tried to usurp a duly elected (BiBi) then the move to limit the high court makes sense.

      IF BiBi really IS as corrupt as his opponents say then it is a power move…

      Sad that Israel did not get a specific constitution written (I DO recall learning that the first president, David Ben Gurion, was a bit busy at the time)- that Constitution would have gone a long way toward setting up separation of powers… Israel DOES, however have a system of Basic Laws – https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-basic-laws-of-israel

      The Declaration of Independence for Israel is interesting to read

      I always found the form of government (Kinesset) to be difficult to follow – (IMO)

      Netanyahu did a good job staying on track during the interview though – he is a good politician.


      • Fourth and Long says:

        Yes, he was impressive. Morgan rarely if ever interviews someone more or equally intelligent than himself, but he did this time. The charges against Netanyahu struck me as being, well, lame. If he’s guilty as charged then all I can say is please, pretty please, can we have politicians only that venal? That said, I don’t particularly care for him or his policies, to put it mildly. The government over there has been off the wall crazy since the days when Einstein wrote his letter to the editor of the NY Times (if memory serves) explaining why he didn’t accept the offer to be Israel’s President.
        Full text here:

  3. plantman says:

    Bibi isn’t asking for anything more than the Democrats have already achieved; the entire power of the state including the intel agencies, the FBI, the justice dept and the media under one supreme leader.

    Is it any wonder why half the country no longer trusts anything the government says or does?

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Beautiful summary. Did you see that the IRS was sent to Matt Taibi’s house on the day or one of the days he was testifying before Congress about the Twitter imbroglios?

  4. Whitewall says:

    I get the feeling our State Dept has a hand in this. They didn’t like the general election results last fall so once again. Same with Brussels. Like anything in the ME, nothing is as it seems.

    • LeaNder says:

      Whitewall, you may be interested in John Podhoretz opinion piece in Commentary. Below what he considers reason why. Should feel familiar. … Counterrevolutionaries?

      Over the past two months, the question I have been asked more than any other is: Can you explain what’s going on in Israel? The answer is not difficult: The right is seeking to enact an activist agenda, and that agenda angers, alarms, and/or terrifies everybody who didn’t vote for the parties of the right. …

      For much of the Israeli right, and especially for the intellectuals of the Israeli right, the Supreme Court issue has been a foremost concern for 25 years. And appropriately so. Thus it stood to reason that “judicial reform” legislation that reasserts Knesset primacy—which, in a counterpoint to the American system, features an “override” clause that would allow parliament to overturn a Supreme Court decision—would be taken up immediately.

      But they made the mistake most advocates and activists make when it comes to matters of long standing that have consumed them, which is, they found it hard to see what their efforts would look like from the outside to people who haven’t been anywhere near as focused.

      For one thing, the courts in general are a particularly sensitive issue at this moment because the newly returned prime minister is under indictment. As it happens, I think the cases brought against Netanyahu are garbage, but that doesn’t matter. If Knesset primacy is achieved, that would allow the new government to push through legislation postponing the cases against Netanyahu until he is out of office. And so, any efforts by the government to argue against the street protests against judicial reform seem compromised by a severe conflict of interest.

      Second, while the Knesset should (in my view) have this primacy—at least until Israel hunkers down and actually writes itself a functional constitution—the legislation now moving through the parliament is strictly majoritarian. By which I mean, it would take only 61 votes to overturn a court ruling.


      How about writingh a constitution??? Finally? …

      • LeaNder says:

        made some changes here, can I use the “u” tag?:
        … what he considers the reason why …

        • Whitewall says:

          Yes it seems the right is always wanting to enact an ‘activist’ agenda. I believe the indictments are a fig leaf and placeholder for the left to hamstring BiBi and when they are done with that will be shown.

          Write an actual constitution?! Now that would be a feat not even Solomon could pull off.

      • cobo says:

        I absolutely support the idea that Israel will carve out a homeland just for the Jewish Israelis. Of course, that right also applies to the French, the Germans, the Italians, the Spanish, the English and even the Scotts. I’d say history supports this view.

      • KjHeart says:


        Good article from John Podhoretz on Commentary

        “In the 1990s, the members of Israel’s Supreme Court decided they needed to step in and impose a judicial order. Led by Chief Justice Aharon Barak, they declared a “Constitutional Revolution” and unilaterally extended their own authority to determine whether Knesset legislation was or was not kosher.”

        The clarifications on the judiciary seem to have been put in place in 1984 – so this 1990’s response/ or perhaps judicial overreach? seems to be a reaction (IMO).



    • Fourth and Long says:

      Looks like “Whitehall” (Piers Morgan’s employers) had a talk with his Bibiness. He gets a new “police force.” Chuckle.
      Israel postponed the adoption of judicial reform, which caused mass protests
      The adoption of the law on judicial reform in Israel will be derailed until the summer session of the Knesset:

      MOSCOW, March 27 – RIA Novosti. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir agreed to postpone the adoption of the law on judicial reform until the summer session of parliament, the KAN reported, citing the Otsma Yehudit party.
      According to the TV and radio company, in return Netanyahu agreed to approve the formation of the civil national guard at the upcoming cabinet meeting. Ben-Gvir is seeking its creation.

  5. Larry Johnson has an, IMO, very interesting column on how the U.S. responds differently to different protests, depending on which side it wants to support.


    Instances? Look at how the protests of those Canadian truckers was handled.
    Contrast to the Maidan riots: “You go, boys.”
    Other contrasting examples abound.
    And as to those protests in Israel?
    Talk about a hot potato!

    • Billy Roche says:

      Your point’s well taken. But even in the days of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, America had a politicized press. These days the differences are glaring and the press supporting the gov’t is socialist. Once you could get a different opinion on nat’l events from the NYT and WSJ but both were pro American. Today, the press is anti American. Keep in mind which “news” stations tow the govt’s line and watch their phrasing, bylines, lead stories and coordination w/t word being spread by WH news and Dem. leadership. We are witnessing effective political advertising. When either side has a big advantage in coverage people don’t get debate but dictate. Left or right can lead a nation to fascism. Italians, Germans, and Russians were all of the left and all produced totalitarian states.

  6. Fred says:

    Perhaps the protesters could point to just where in the Constitution of the State of Israel, uhh, oh my, they don’t have a constitution? Just how do judges interpret the laws enacted by the Knesset, and to what standard? What does the term “activist” judiciary mean there?

    “How dare he” seems to have a universal meaning. I wonder if the “protesters” wear pink hats? They sure seem to be conducting themselves in the best “George Floyd ” supporting style though.

    • Stefan says:

      I guess you could ask the Israeli Defense Minister who was recently sacked for questioning the moves, or even the elite Israel fighter unit who initially refused to attend training over the proposed reforms. Discontent over the moves is widespread in the IDF. Comparing these protests to “George Floyd” protests in the US shows an ignorance about just how wide spread the opposition is to the moves in Israel. Talking about pink hats, in an attempt to make it sounds like a movement supported by whacko feminists and leftists, also shows a profound misunderstanding of what is going on. Many Israelis, left and right, know that these moves proposed by Bibi would eviscerate Israeli democracy.

      Personally I feel they are too late…..democracy in Israel was only a fleeting phenomenon long since gone. But the current moves would make the illusion of Israeli democracy no more believable than Israel’s ambiguous stance on its nuclear weapons.

      • Fred says:


        The Israeli Defense Minister serves at the pleasure of the head of government, the Prime Minister?

        ” shows an ignorance about just how wide spread”
        Yes indeed. The riots in what I called the summer of George Floyd destroyed a couple of billion dollars of property in many US cities as well as more than ten thousand arrests. This includes Kenosha, which resulting in Kyle Rittenhouse shooting three people trying to kill him. The riots essentially stopped after that. Maybe that news even made it into the European press.

        The womans march was more than a million Americans, and millions more worldwide, protesting the inauguration of President Trump. I’m sure that made your local news in 2017. “The Resistance” You might have read that term somewhere other than “The Conservative Treehouse” blog.

        Perhaps you could answer my two questions:
        Just how do judges interpret the laws enacted by the Knesset?
        Based upon what standard?

        • Stefan says:

          Of course he serves at the pleasure of the PM. My point being the protest against the proposed moves are not leftist in nature, not pinko commies or vagina hat wearing feminists, rather they span the political spectrum in Israel, including the IDF and elite military formations.

          As for how the Supreme Court rules in Israel….the same way it has since 1948 that was okay for all previous governments, Likkud, Labour et al. It only has seem to become an issue when Israel is now being led by a person facing multiple criminals charges that almost certainly would be quashed if the proposed changes are made. It is also the most religious/conservative coalition in Israeli history as well.

          It would be a good idea to have a written constitution. The better move would seem to actually come up with one rather than erase what many would see as something part and parcel of a free and democratic system, ie a separate and independent judiciary. As I said before, I dont think Israel is a democracy, if the reforms go through it will be much harder for the US and democratic nations of the world to sustain the fig leaf/lie that is the supposed Israeli “we are just like you” democracy. It has always been a lie, these reforms would make it so much more obvious and bolster attempts to hold Israel accountable for its actions in regards to the Palestinians.

          BTW, having lived for years in England and was married to a Brit, I can tell you that the UK does not have a written constitution either. They talk about their “constitution” but there is no such thing in a fashion others know, ie the US Constitution or the Basic Law in Germany. In the UK the Supreme Court uses a whole host of things to decide on laws and permissibility of their laws. From the Magna Carta, to tradition, customs, court precedent, etc. So you do not have to have a written constitution for a Supreme Court to work, the Brits have been doing it for hundreds of years.

          Besides which, it is a bit odd for a nation which recently described itself in law as the “Jewish State” to argue it doesn’t have a written constitution. Of course a Jewish state has a “written constitution” in the Torah. I think this is one thing that isn’t being talked about too much in the western media, but with the religious parties in the Likkud coalition, it most certainly IS being thought of by the extremists and this fact is not lost on the more secular minded members of the IDF, Defense establishment and more secular members of Israeli society.

          This move would be seized upon to give the law in Israel a more “Jewish veneer” than it currently has. The argument today is about politics, but it is also about the argument that has been burning since before 1948 in regards to whether or not Israel is a secular or a religious state. This move is another battle in that long standing war.

          • Fred says:


            “…including the IDF and elite military formations.” That’s completely unprofessional but probably matches Col. Lang’s observations about the IDF. If the protests are as broadly based as the you observe then Netanyahu probably can not survive a vote of confidence in the Knesset.

            “It only has seem to become an issue when … ”
            That’s just it, the judges are as biased as the politicians, which judges are not supposed to be. It certainly started before Bibi’s latest election victory.

      • JStan says:

        Stefan, you appear to be correct, indicating that the ‘demonstrators’ thought the moves by the govt ‘would eviscerate democracy’. But I wonder, if and when, the other shoe drops? Because the majority, slight, but a majority nonetheless, who voted Bibi in begins to conclude that ‘democracy’ has not worked for them so well? Who may conclude that the battle was won/loss in the streets. And in threats to undermine Israel’s nation security. See pilots threats to not report for duty. This majority, the other shoe I refer to, the one by the way, with demographics on its side….perhaps might have something to say about how democracy works, or does not work, as the case may be.

        • Stefan says:

          This is why some Israelis, including the Israeli president, have said that the current events pose the very real possibility of civil war. I think that is a bit much, but I am no expert on the subject.

          • JStan says:

            I can’t shake the feeling, the vague sense, that this all has a whiff of ‘color revolution’ about it.

    • Fourth and Long says:


      You’d do equally well to enquire whether the ancient Greek state of Sparta had a constitution. Because that’s the reality of the state of Israel. The humus is very good though.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        PS: IMO the high point of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s written work is the section in The First Circle where during an interview with Stalin himself the Chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Abakumov, I think, in immediate postwar SU begs the first General Secretary to please, please, bring back the death penalty. Stalin explains that it’s impossible because it is expressly forbidden by the Constitution of the USSR. It fully merits my warning to be on the alert not to die laughing. I’m in full sympathy with the sentiments you express by pointing to the lack of a Constitution. I’d very much love to live in a Nation governed by law. Is Sen Frank Church still among the living? If not, well, I’m not surprised.

  7. Babeltuap says:

    McDonald’s is now getting in on the strike. Cheap unhealthy greasy food can wait. There is a country to save:


    • Fourth and Lox says:

      They calculated the extent of the french fries with McMuffin vote. Can you get lox and cream cheese on a bagel in an Israeli McDonald’s? Some McLox on a McBagel with a McSchmeer pleece, … Vat, you don’t haf McLox?

  8. Poppa Rollo says:

    Bibi is merely implementing the dreams of the US conservative radicals whose intention is to turn the American judicial system into their lap dogs.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Bi Bi – in Cyrillic B is V. His name becomes ViVi which is silly enough, but ..
      In Roman numerals VI VI is 66.
      Which reminds me of something. Oh ho, it gets worse. Nevermind.

      Question 1: The British gave him the name BB, because they liked to say when speaking with him, “BiBi, see, we are in favor of ..” and then something else ..

      For a free delivery of our simple multiple choice 478 page questionaire, simply answer correctly. Include your definition of Quid Pro Woe for weekly delivery with fresh bottled milk if our editors are ..

      What is the name of the British television channel which inspired the nickname of the Prime Minister of Israel?

  9. mcohen says:

    Too many outside influences using Israel’s courts to fiddle in internal affairs.Thst must stop.Places like Huwara are more important

  10. blue peacock says:

    Netanyahu admits Israel is on the brink of ‘CIVIL WAR’ as he postpones judicial reform amid another night of violent protests


    Bibi in trying to bail himself out from his corruption court case maybe went too far in making himself above the law. It appears many in Israel are rejecting his power grab.

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