Israel is in the throes of a grave political crisis that has ballooned in recent days to envelop crucial components of society: the military, universities and trade unions.
For weeks, protesters have taken to the streets to oppose the government’s plan to overhaul judicial rules. The discontent intensified on Sunday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired a minister who had criticized the plan for causing turmoil within the military.
Universities shuttered in protest, and union leaders are hinting of a general strike that threatens to paralyze the nation. The fallout is also stretching beyond Israel’s borders, causing unease among investors, influential American Jews and Israel’s foreign allies, including the United States.
Here’s what you need to know about the crisis:
The government wants to restrict the power of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Netanyahu’s governing coalition, the most right wing and religiously conservative in Israel’s history, says the judiciary has granted itself increased authority over the years. The government also contends the Supreme Court is not representative of the diversity of Israeli society.