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Since late January, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been loudly protesting an impending judicial overhaul by the nation’s new right-wing government. The most controversial part of the proposal gives the Knesset, Israeli’s parliament, the power to overrule supreme court decisions with a simple majority vote, which means the nation’s top court would be unable to strike down objectionable laws. It would effectively, as one Israeli news report put it, “neuter” the court.
Opponents say the changes, if allowed, will “endanger the entire legal system” and cement the power grip of the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a corruption charge. (The Knesset already has approved another rule stating that a prime minister may only be removed from office for physical or mental unfitness.) Since the changes were proposed, Israelis have taken to the streets en masse to register their displeasure.