Giant billboard in Tel Aviv installed to 'Save Israel's Democracy'

The billboard calls for sweeping reform of the Israeli judicial system in the wake of growing public distrust.

A billboard in Tel Aviv calls for sweeping judicial reforms, to save Israel's democracy.  (photo credit: IM TIRTZU)
A billboard in Tel Aviv calls for sweeping judicial reforms, to save Israel's democracy.
(photo credit: IM TIRTZU)
A giant billboard calling for judicial reform to "Save Israel's Democracy" has been erected in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Zionist organization Im Tirtzu financed the 2,000-square-foot billboard as part of its campaign calling for reform of Israel's "unchecked and over-reaching" judicial system, which it says is the only reason for there having been 19 investigations into the activities of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to date.
The billboard, located on the corner of Rothschild Boulevard and Allenby Street, cites polling by Midgam, which found that 56% of Israelis back an independent inquiry into reported abuses of the legal system which occurred during the Netanyahu investigations, including illegal leaks and witness coercion.
Nearly 50% of Israelis reported declining trust in the justice system following the investigations, the poll found.
The poll also revealed that the majority of Israelis felt the judiciary operated too freely, with 68% in favor of setting up an independent auditing mechanism for the judiciary.
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said that the state of the justice system in Israel is unparalleled in the Western world.
"Israel is under the thumb of a judicial oligarchy, which stands in contravention to the basic values of democracy," he said.
"All of the important decisions over the past 20 years were not decided upon by elected officials, rather by a group of judges and legal advisers whose worldview represents a small minority of the public."
"It is only due to this phenomenon," continued Peleg, "that there have been 19 police investigations against Prime Minister Netanyahu to date."
In addition to the polling results, the billboard featured quotes from public figures and senior members of the justice system who have been calling for reform.
These include former ombudsman for the State Attorney’s Office Hila Gerstel, who stated: "Shai Nitzan is not fit to be the State Prosecutor."
Former Supreme Court Justice Tzvi Tal, is also featured; when asked if he trusts the justice system and the Attorney General, he responded "I have question marks."
The billboard signs off with the hashtag #InquiryCommitteeNow.
Im Tirtzu is calling for the judicial system in Israel to be overhauled with major judicial reforms, including the establishment of an independent audit mechanism for the State Attorney's Office, enshrining separation of power between the branches of state in legislation, changes to the method of selecting judges, and establishing an inquiry committee into handling of the Netanyahu investigations.