Protesters blocked roads across Israel and demonstrated at Ben-Gurion Airport and additional locations on Tuesday, in a "Day of Resistance" in protest against the reasonableness standard bill passing its first reading in Knesset on Monday night.
73 protesters were arrested by Israel Police for disturbing the peace, as of Tuesday evening. 45 of those have already been released, according to police. Of the 73 detained, 33 were arrested during the demonstrations in Tel Aviv, 23 were arrested in other areas in central Israel (including seven at Ben-Gurion Airport), and seven were arrested in locations along the northern coastal region.
Demonstrations erupting nationwide
At Ben-Gurion Airport, a group of Yom Kippur War veterans and the "Building an Alternative" protest movement gathered in the arrivals hall with signs reading "Welcome to Gilead" and "Blessed be the fruit" in reference to the book The Handmaid's Tale.
Demonstrators also blocked Highway 2 near Haifa, the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, Highway 1 near Jerusalem, and Begin Road in Jerusalem.
In Herzliya, protesters set up tents and burned tires in the middle of the HaSira junction, blocking the road on Tuesday morning before being forcibly removed by police.
כרגע בצומת ליד צומת מכבים רעות. כביש 443 pic.twitter.com/SAJV4CUiVr— דמוקרטTV (@Democrat_TV) July 11, 2023
Roads were also blocked in Tirat Hacarmel, Modi'in, and Binyamina. Police said they were operating at the various protest locations in efforts to clear roads and prevent disruptions.
In Haifa, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of a court in the city.
In Rehovot, around 2,500 protestors gathered at the Park junction, which police have blocked.
Additional protests were planned for throughout the day in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Eilat, and dozens of other cities, towns, and junctions.
"This is the day for citizens to come out and defend Israeli democracy," said the Kaplan Force protest movement. "The horror show last night in the plenary showed every citizen the magnitude of the hour. Against the dictatorship coalition - only the people will save Israel."
Some 300 reservists in cyber units in the IDF, Shin Bet, and Mossad will stop showing up for reservist duty, they announced in a letter on Tuesday morning.
"We won't develop abilities for a criminal regime, and we won't help train the future generation of offensive cyber," they wrote in a letter announcing their protest. "As time goes on, the damage to the array and operational cyber capabilities of the State of Israel will deepen."
Employees in Rafael also warned of a strike on Tuesday.
"Every employee has a moral red line that if the government crosses it, their conscience won't allow them to develop weapons for a government leaning toward a dictatorship."
Histadrut Chief Arnon Ben David warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that if the situation doesn't settle down, the Histadrut will take action.
"Stop the chaos," he said. "We will enact our full force when the situation reaches the extreme."
Reasonableness Standard Bill passes, to be brought for committee finalization within hours
On Monday night, the controversial reasonableness standard bill passed in a first reading in the Knesset plenum by a vote of 64 to 56 with plans to bring the bill already to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Tuesday to prepare it for a second and third reading.
The "reasonableness standard bill" is an amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary, that would block Israel's courts from applying what is known as the "reasonableness standard" to decisions made by elected officials. The reasonableness standard is a common law doctrine that allows for judicial review against government administrative decisions that are deemed beyond the scope of what a responsible and reasonable authority would undertake.
Eliav Breuer contributed to this report.