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Protesters wave flags during a demonstration in Tel Aviv.


Israel’s looming constitutional crisis: What’s the tech sector going to do about it?

Israeli governments have long boasted about their country being an international tech haven. Israeli leaders across the political spectrum brag about national feats including the invention of the gastrointestinal pill camera, USB sticks, and even cherry tomatoes (though many argue the small fruits cannot be attributed to Israeli prowess).

Nonetheless, the Israeli government won’t be feeling tender toward the technology sector this week after hundreds of tech workers in Tel Aviv held a strike Tuesday to protest the Netanyahu coalition’s democratic backsliding. This comes after more than 120,000 Israelis took to the streets in Tel Aviv – and thousands more across the country – on Saturday night to protest the government’s proposed judicial reforms.

With many from the robust tech sector joining the anti-government cause, what's at stake for Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s government – and the country?

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Thousands of Israeli protesters rally against PM Benjamin Netanyahu's new government in Tel Aviv.

Gili Yaari via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Israel’s mass anti-corruption protests, Sweden’s NATO own goal, Germany's mixed signals

Israelis protest proposed judiciary changes

Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and Beersheba on Saturday to protest judicial changes proposed by PM Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s new government, the country’s most right-wing coalition to date. While demonstrations have been underway for weeks, more than 100,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv in the biggest rally yet to oppose the proposed reforms that they fear will weaken the High Court of Justice’s power and independence. Bibi’s government feels the judiciary is biased against it and interfering with its ability to govern, and the PM is vowing to push through the reforms despite the outcry. On Sunday, meanwhile, Bibi finally dismissed key ally Aryeh Deri as interior and health minister, days after the high court ruled he was ineligible to hold a senior cabinet post due to a previous criminal conviction. Deri is head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, some of whose members had threatened to turn away from Bibi's wobbly government if the PM fired their boss. Just weeks in, this is another sign that Bibi is going to have a hell of a time keeping his coalition together.

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