Israel’s TEL AVIV (AP) — The largest trade union organisation in Israel went on strike Monday across a wide range of industries, joining a growing protest movement against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to reform the court, which is meeting with unprecedented opposition.
The walkout by the Histadrut umbrella organisation, which represents roughly 800,000 employees in a variety of industries including banking, transit, and health care, may halt significant portions of Israel’s already fragile economy and increase pressure on Netanyahu to postpone the overhaul.
Thousands of passengers were impacted as departing planes from the country’s principal international airport were grounded in protest. Moreover, other industries, including municipal governments,
which oversees pre-schools and other crucial services, as well as the main doctors union, announced they would strike.
Once tens of thousands of Israelis spontaneously took to the streets throughout the nation to express their indignation at Netanyahu’s decision to remove his defence minister after he requested a delay in the makeover, the opposition to the plan began to build in intensity a few hours later. They started bonfires on Tel Aviv’s major thoroughfare while yelling “the country is on fire,” shutting the road and several others for hours. To put more pressure on the administration, thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Knesset on Monday.
Israel is currently experiencing one of its biggest political crises as a result of the revamp, which was led by Netanyahu, who is currently facing a corruption prosecution, and his friends in Israel’s most right-wing administration ever. It has led to an ongoing, growing protest movement that has affected almost every aspect of life, including the military, as reservists are increasingly coming forward to openly declare they would not serve in a nation headed towards tyranny.
Israel has become even more split as a result of the unrest, highlighting the persistent and unresolvable disputes over the nation’s character that have torn it apart since its founding. The demonstrators claim to be defending Israel’s basic existence and regard the reform as a direct threat to its democratic values. The administration has branded them as anarchists seeking to overthrow a democratically chosen authority.