Israel is descending quickly into a crisis that, if unchecked, may well lead to civil war. These are the words of President Isaac Herzog. The words and fears of MK Benny Gantz, former IDF Chief of Staff and Minister of Defence. For months now, the country has been cleaved by sharp divisions that go to the core of Israel’s identity as a liberal democracy. The hard right-wing government coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has brought together some very extreme interests and they are bulldozing their judicial “reforms” through the legislative process at breakneck speed. There is no proper consultation or public discussion and many are of the view that if implemented these changes will destroy the country by allowing extreme religious and political agendas to control national priorities. The tensions peaked on Wednesday night when police used unprecedented violence against peaceful demonstrators, sending 11 to hospital for treatment. Vivian Bercovici, in conversation with journalist Haviv Rettig Gur, on why this time is different. And how much worse it could still get.
State of Tel Aviv is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.