Netanyahu backs down on flagship reforms after day of chaos in Israel


The Tel Aviv stock exchange, some major retail chains and McDonald’s Israel joined the strikes, with their branches shuttered nationwide on Monday.

Shortly after lunchtime, sources confirmed to The Telegraph that Israeli embassy staff in London were also joining the strike against Mr Netanyahu’s reforms. Similar announcements from other Israeli embassies, including in Washington, followed soon after, amid reports that some Israeli police chiefs were crossing sides to join the protesters.

Such a strike, which was announced by the major Israeli labour union Histadrut, has not happened in Israel since the rule of the British Empire in the territory, Israeli media reported.  

Outside the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, demonstrators waved blue and white flags, chanted “Democratia [democracy]” and waved anti-Netanyahu placards.

Several told The Telegraph that the dramatic events of Sunday night, when Mr Netanyahu sacked his defence minister for publicly criticising the legal reforms, prompted them to come out and protest.

“There was no way I could stay at home, last night felt like the crossing of a boundary…it was the time to wake up and protest,” said Nathaniel Katzir, a 44-year-old tech industry professional.

“I am here to join the protest against the legislation started by Netanyahu and his associates. I think he’s leading us to an autocratic regime,” said Yousef Kaplan, 79, an Israeli army veteran and retired professor from Hebrew University.

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