(MENAFN) Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a delay in implementing controversial reforms to the country's judiciary following massive protests and a strike by workers. Critics say the changes being pushed by Netanyahu's far-right coalition government would allow the executive branch to reverse decisions made by Israel's Supreme Court and undermine the country's system of democratic checks and balances. Tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets over the past two months to demonstrate against the changes, which have seen protests ramp up dramatically over the weekend.
The strike action was called by Israel's biggest umbrella labor union group and saw workers in sectors from transport to diplomacy walk off the job, heaping pressure on Netanyahu. The strike came after a weekend of massive protests against the proposed changes, which have been met with widespread opposition.
Israeli reservist Air Force pilots joined the protests against the proposed reforms earlier this month, with dozens of reserve pilots sending a letter to their chief of staff stating that they would not attend an upcoming scheduled training. Military reservists are often called to take part in limited periods of training each year in Israel, where military service is compulsory.
The protests and strikes come amid growing concern over the changes being sought by the Netanyahu government, which many believe would undermine Israel's system of democratic checks and balances. The reforms would allow the executive branch to reverse decisions made by Israel's Supreme Court, a move that critics say would severely limit the power of the judiciary.
The delay in implementing the reforms is a significant victory for those opposing the changes, but many are still calling for the proposals to be scrapped entirely. The protests and strikes have highlighted the deep divisions in Israeli society over the issue, with many concerned about the erosion of democratic values in the country.
The situation in Israel is complex, with many different groups and interests at play. However, the protests and strikes show that there is a significant opposition to the changes being proposed by the government. It remains to be seen what impact the delay in implementing the reforms will have, and whether the government will ultimately be forced to abandon the proposals entirely.
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