Massive protests demand Netanyahu’s exit

Massive protests demand Netanyahu’s exit

In Jerusalem, tens of thousands of people rallied against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, demanding their immediate replacement. As reported by Reuters on March 31st, the protests were organized by groups who had led the massive protests of 2023, and along with their call for elections, they also protested the ongoing military service exemptions for ultra-orthodox Jews.

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Netanyahu’s government has been under fire for its increasingly authoritarian character, manifested through his attempted judicial reform, which was passed in the Knesset in July 2023. Since the Hamas attack on October 7th, and the subsequent war in Gaza, protests have intensified. Netanyahu’s government has been criticized for its handling of the war and is currently facing pressure to address the military service exemption for ultra-orthodox men issue by a March 31 deadline. The Israeli Supreme Court has intervened, temporarily suspending state funding for seminary students exempt from military service, while allowing the government additional time to present a solution.

According to reports, the protest in Jerusalem was one of the largest since the outbreak of the war, with participants demanding elections and criticizing the government’s failures. In Tel Aviv, families of hostages taken to Gaza blocked a main highway, protesting the government’s inability to secure their return.

READ: Israel raid frees two hostages held by Hamas

The protest comes amidst warnings by the European Union of a new, impending genocide by Israel in Rafah. With the war escalating, Netanyahu’s opposition is intensifying, and Israel’s political discourse is becoming increasingly more tense. At a news conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu stated that a solution to the military exemption issue will be found but underlined that holding elections in the middle of the war, would risk paralyzing Israel for months.



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