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Ex-Israel PM Barak calls for civil disobedience to stop judicial reforms

March 13, 2023 at 9:41 am

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak [Ynhockey/Wikipedia]

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak yesterday called for civil disobedience in order to prevent the judicial reforms being pushed through by the government.

Barak said in a press statement that “Once a government, using the tools of democracy, in order to destroy it from within, and ends up acting in a blatantly illegitimate matter, it is not just the right of citizens, it is, in my judgment, the obligation of citizens to turn unfortunately toward civil disobedience.”

He also called on the heads of intelligence, defence staff and police to prevent the judicial reforms.

The latest opinion poll showed great support for the reservists’ refusal of military orders in protest against the enactment of laws that the opposition considers “restricting” for the judicial authority in Israel.

The poll, published by Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper yesterday, showed, according to the translation of the Safa news agency, that 70 per cent of those affiliated with the opposition parties support the reservists’ refusal of military service in protest against what they called ‘a judicial coup’.

According to the survey, 31 per cent of right-wing supporters support the reservists’ actions, while the percentage rose to 87 per cent among left-wing supporters.

The results of the survey come a day after the decision by the Air Force Commander, Tomer Bar, to cancel suspension of Air Force pilot Gilead Peled and allow him to return to work days after the decision to dismiss him after he led calls to refuse orders and military service.

The decision to cancel his suspension came after Peled apologised and backed down from his statements.

Peled represented 36 pilots who expressed their refusal to join military training in the Air Force in objection to the judicial changes after the government coalition began the steps to pass these reforms in the Knesset.

On Saturday evening, Israeli cities witnessed mass demonstrations, which have been the largest since the start of the protests ten weeks ago. The number of demonstrators was estimated at more than 300,000.

The protestors are calling on the occupation government to back down from enacting laws that “marginalise the judiciary”.

READ: Anti-government protests resume in Israel for 10th straight week