The leading anti-judicial reform protest umbrella group, Hofshei B’Artzenu, has expanded its campaign against the government’s legislative agenda with a list of 225 different bills on the Knesset’s docket, the group announced on their a new website providing details on the proposed laws.
Hofshei B’Artzenu, which serves as a protests headquarters providing logistical, financial, and organizational support to hundreds of smaller anti-reform groups, had called for the weekly protest this past Saturday to be against all of the “messianic dictatorship laws.”
The protest HQ claimed that there were 84 laws that would ruin the legal system, 53 that harmed human rights, 37 religious laws, 30 that damaged election rules, and another 21 against freedom of speech. These laws allegedly impact women, new immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, children and youth, Arabs, and secular and traditional Jews.
Why are these the most dangerous proposed laws?
Hofshei B’Artzenu announced its new website on Sunday, which provided a list of the 225 laws it deemed the “most dangerous laws,” with an explanation and status update for each item of legislation.
The list includes the judicial reform bills that limited judicial review and that proposed to change the composition and rules of the Judicial Selection Committee. Both laws were frozen in March by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to mass protests that brought the country to a standstill.
Most of the other laws listed as dictatorial related to matters not explicitly touched on by Justice Minister Yariv Levin when he presented the judicial reform plan on January 4.
One bill listed proposed to enshrine Torah study as equivalent to military service, but the Likud had said in late July that the law was not on the agenda.
“One of the most dangerous bills submitted by the members of the coalition was designed to allow the rabbinical courts to discuss civil and economic disputes as arbitrators, and not only in divorce and family matters. This means giving enormous additional power to the rabbinical courts, which are bound by the laws of Halacha and give clear priority to men over women,” Hofshei B’Artzenu wrote on Facebook on Monday. “This is just one of the 225 bills submitted by the destruction government with the aim of crushing Israeli democracy. This is what we are fighting for!”
Pro-reform politicians such as Religious Zionist Party MK Simcha Rothman have in the past argued that the anti-reform protests were not simply motivated by opposition to the legal overhaul but rather by the lost elections, and that they seek to impede the coalition’s governance.