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Reform opponents shout down Rothman at Tel Aviv University

Knesset member Simcha Rothman is one of the architects of the government's judicial reform program.

Anti-reform activists try to prevent Knesset member Simcha Rothman from speaking at Tel Aviv University, May 28, 2023. Photo by Gideon Markowitz/TPS.
Anti-reform activists try to prevent Knesset member Simcha Rothman from speaking at Tel Aviv University, May 28, 2023. Photo by Gideon Markowitz/TPS.

MK Simcha Rothman, chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, was greeted by angry protesters upon his arrival at Tel Aviv University to take part in a panel on judicial reform on Sunday.

Under heavy police guard, Rothman was escorted into the building as protesters blew air horns and shouted. A short line of demonstrators dressed as handmaids, a reference to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” lined the way to the entrance.

Rothman was interrupted when he tried to speak as part of the panel discussion on the government’s plan to rein in what it describes as an activist Supreme Court, which has upset Israel’s system of checks and balances.

Rothman told the activists: “Your argument is weak. You don’t have the ability to deal intellectually, so you shout. What can you do, you are limited.”

The protesters also attempted to block Rothman’s exit, shouting “Besiege Rothman” and “Rothman is a fascist.”

The police’s Yasam special patrol unit was called in to reinforce the officers on duty and escort Rothman from the campus.

Rothman, a key figure in the government’s push for judicial reform, has become a frequent target of anti-judicial reform protesters. They have interrupted a number of his public appearances and even attempted to prevent him from leaving his home.

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