Plans for Israel's judiciary have generated significant opposition outside of parliament

Activists outside of Israel's parliament on February 23

Israelis in their tens of thousands are demonstrating in front of the parliament against divisive plans for judicial reform.

Since the plans were revealed last month, Israel has experienced some of the largest protests in years.

If approved, they would give the government more control over judicial appointments while limiting the Supreme Court's authority.

While the government claims the reforms will strengthen democracy, critics claim they will undermine it.

US Vice President Joe Biden appeared to be critical of the proposals as they stand, which is an unusual move for a US leader to make in relation to Israeli constitutional issues.

According to comments he made that were published in the Sunday New York Times, "the genius of American democracy and Israeli democracy is that they are both built on strong institutions, on checks and balances, on an independent judiciary.".

It's crucial to create consensus when making fundamental changes, he continued.

Isaac Herzog, the president of Israel, issued a warning on Sunday, stating that social and constitutional collapse was imminent. Since the office is regarded as a politically neutral figurehead, involvement by Israeli presidents in political issues is uncommon.

Tens of thousands of people have participated in weekly large-scale protests in Tel Aviv against the reforms. According to the plans' detractors, the judiciary will become politicized, which could result in a totalitarian government.

The government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claims that the current structure is undemocratic because it allows the Supreme Court to overturn legislation passed by a legislature chosen by the general public.

Yariv Lavin, Israel's justice minister, who unveiled the plans, charged that those who opposed them, including the attorney general and the chief justice of the Supreme Court, were attempting to "carry out a coup" against Prime Minister Netanyahu. This came after a petition was submitted to the court asking for the court to deem Mr. Netanyahu unfit for office.

The Supreme Court's power to overturn laws would be significantly reduced as a result of the planned reforms. Supreme Court decisions could also be overruled by a simple majority in the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

According to Mr. Netanyahu, the proposals will stop judicial overreach and restore the proper balance between the executive and legislative branches.

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