Protests In Israel After Knesset First Reading Of Judicial Overhaul Legislation

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Protestors have blocked highways leading to Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Haifa hours after the Israeli Knesset gave initial approval for legislation which would limit the oversight powers of the Israeli Supreme Court. The issue has been a contentious one for the last six months in Israel, provoking continuous protests from those who believe that the overhaul undermines Israel’s democracy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with his Likud party and coalition members, however, believe that the overhaul is necessary to rein in an unelected judiciary.  Police used water cannons to clear protestors from critical travel arteries and made some arrests.  Israeli Diaspora Affairs and Social Equality Minister Amichai Chikli alleged coordination between the Biden administration and overhaul opposition leaders, including Yair Lapid.  “Every time they [overhaul opponents] want to fan the flames, all of a sudden there’s a comment from the direction of the [US] president,” he said.