Israeli women form red line to protest judicial reform

STORY: Several sectors of Israeli society have joined in weekly protests against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to limit the Supreme Court's ability to rule against the legislature and the executive, while giving lawmakers decisive powers in appointing judges.

The women's group joined the ongoing protests dressed in red, lining the popular Tel Aviv beach-front promenade, clapping and chanting "Democracy."

"We feel that every step of this reform is going to hurt women and take women's rights back," said Adi Agasi-Shafir in Tel Aviv. "We are going to be deprived of all the rights and achievements that we managed to get so far, it's really dangerous and we're not willing to accept that," Shafir added.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday (March 6) said a compromise in the government's judicial overhaul plan could be imminent, but opposition leader Benny Gantz told Reuters at the women's demonstration in Tel Aviv that they would not negotiate until the legislation is halted.

"Agreements can be reached, compromise on democracy we cannot reach," he said.

Demonstrators at previous women's protests have dressed in red cloaks and white bonnets, mimicking the popular 'Handmaid's Tale' television show and novel which depicts a dystopian reality whereby a brutal ultra-religious regime has stripped women of their rights.

"It's supposed to be a happy day that we celebrate our rights but now we need to protest again," protestor Moran Katzenstein told Reuters at a demonstration in Jerusalem.

"We all wear red and we show that we are drawing a red line and we will not allow this government to harm our rights."

Waving signs that read "Harming women's rights, not on our shift" and "Women's struggle," protesters demonstrated against the legislation Netanyahu proposed with his right-wing and religious allies last month.