Rising extremism and democratic crisis in Israel
Israel is in the grip of one of the most serious domestic crises in its history, with uproar over the government’s plans to change the way the judicial system works. Here is a brief guide to what is going on.
What is happening in Israel?
Since the start of the year, huge weekly protests have been held by people opposed to the government’s reform plans. The scale of the protests has escalated, with hundreds of thousands of people packing the streets in Tel Aviv – Israel’s commercial capital – and other towns and cities across the country.
Protesters have called for the reforms to be scrapped and for the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to resign. His political rivals have spearheaded the protests, though the fierce opposition to the reforms has cut across political lines.
Most significantly, a growing number of military reservists – the backbone of Israel’s armed forces – have protested by refusing to report for duty, triggering warnings that the crisis even threatens Israel’s security.