Likud minister said to get boosted security amid protests against government


Security officials recently decided to increase the detail of Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi following an increase in threats made against him online, Kan News reported on Friday.

Karhi was one of the most vocal and uncompromising advocates of the government’s attempt to reform the judiciary.

Earlier this month, Karhi wrote in a Purim holiday message that fighter pilots who threatened to quit reserve duty in protest of the overhaul could “go to Hell.” He is also trying to use his position to shut down Kan (critics say he and the coalition are doing so to curtail critical media), although the government has for some time sidelined his initiative amid pushed back widely.

But the majority of public arguments are against the government about their attempt to limit the power of the High Court of Justice. Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets over the past 11 weeks since Justice Minister Yariv Levin introduced the reform in early January.

Those protests continued on Friday with about 200 picketing outside the home of Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman in the central town of Rehovot. Demonstrators called on Silman to step down and “toone” for helping to bring down the previous unity government. Silman served as the shepherd of a coalition government and was a member of former prime minister Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party. She resigned from the coalition last April, claiming that it was damaging the country’s Jewish identity. His resignation ultimately robbed the ruling bloc of its majority which led to the collapse two months later.

Demonstrations outside Silman’s home escalated on Friday after government supporters displayed eggs and oranges and were chased by anti-reform protesters.

Other demonstrators protested outside the home of Information Minister Gila Gamliel in Tel Aviv where they chanted, “Shabbat Shalom for the children of Gila Gamliel whose mother is a fascist.”

The rhetoric was equally aggressive on the other side of the political spectrum with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair branding President Isaac Herzog a “real dressmaker” after the candidate presented another proposal for judicial reform on Wednesday, which he rejected. immediately. coalition leaders.

“This is a left-wing man who is concerned about his constituents in Hod Hasharon and Ramat Hashron along with [protesting] anarchists, compared to the electorate in Sderot and Kiryat Shmona,” Yair Netanyahu said on the 103FM radio program he co-hosted, distinguishing between wealthy towns and the outskirts.

Herzog is “part of the majority on the left,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, police launched an investigation after graffiti denounced by Levin was sprayed on the outer wall of the justice minister’s home in Modiin.

Levin called graffiti “the enemy of the people”.

There was no immediate comment from Levin, who is observing the traditional Jewish mourning period after his father’s death earlier this week. It was not clear if he was home when the graffiti was sprayed.

A police statement said officers were working to gather evidence.

Herzog called the graffiti “horrific” and said he firmly condemned the vandalism.

In this handout photo, graffiti denouncing Justice Minister Yariv Levin as an “enemy of the people” is seen spray-painted on a wall at his home in the city center of Modiin, March 17, 2023. (Israel Police)

The graffiti was spray-painted a day after major anti-reform protests that included blocking roads and a day before planned weekly rallies in Tel Aviv and other cities across the country. Police detained 21 people Thursday in several incidents, including two drivers accused of pepper-spraying demonstrators who blocked the road.

It also came as the coalition appeared to be going full steam ahead with its divisive legislation to radically restructure the justice system.

In recent weeks, the opposition has demanded that the legislative process of the reform be frozen for a set period so that talks could be held on a compromise. The coalition has said it is open to negotiations, but without preconditions, that it steadfastly refuses to delay the legislation Levin said he aims to enact into law by the end of the month.

Despite more than two months of mass protests against the government’s plans and stern warnings from business, military, legal and financial officials in Israel and around the world, the coalition has not paused or slowed down any of its planned legislation.

Herzog has led calls in recent weeks for opposition and coalition lawmakers to sit down for negotiations, urging the coalition to “abandon” the current legislation, and warned on Wednesday that Israel heading toward “real civil war” amid bitter national controversy over the. restoration plan.

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