Tens of thousands of people protested Saturday night in Tel Aviv against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s proposed changes to the Israeli legal system.
Despite pouring rain over the city, police estimated that more than 80,000 people flooded HaBima Square in central Tel Aviv and surrounding streets, according to Israeli media, while others took to the streets in Jerusalem for parallel protests.
Those in attendance held signs comparing Netanyahu to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Israel was turning into semi-democratic Hungary and theocratic Iran.
Protesters told CNN they came out of fear for Israel’s future and to send a message to Netanyahu that the public would not stand for what they see as the dismantling of Israeli democracy.
Esther Hayut, the president of Israel’s Supreme Court, on Thursday attacked the proposed changes as “an unbridled assault on the justice system,” saying they were “designed to deliver a fatal blow to the independence of the justice system.”
The proposed reforms, announced last week by Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin, would reform Supreme Court nominations through a review committee and allow parliament to overturn Supreme Court rulings.