Israeli papers black out front pages in 'dark day for democracy'

A protest group paid for the black-out ads which appeared in several publications


Several Israeli newspapers went to print on Tuesday with blacked-out front pages, in a furore over the Israeli government's planned overhaul to the judicial system. 

"A Black Day for Israeli Democracy," said the ad on the front of major newspapers placed by a group describing itself as worried hi-tech workers.

The plain black pages, which appeared in Yediot Aharonot, Calcalist, Israel Hayom and Haaretz, were paid for by the Hi-Tech Protest movement.

The Hi-Tech Protest movement is a group comprising of representatives and employees from hi-tech companies.

The protest group itself posted on Twitter openly claiming the advertisement on Tuesday morning, saying: "They got us! "

“We tried so hard to hide our logo, [it's on] page 2 of the newspaper."

A spokesperson from the group told the Jewish Chronicle: "Yesterday was a black day that constitutes a first step in undermining the status of the court".

They continued: "But it is important for us to say that we do not give up, not on our country, not on the economy and not on the amazing industry that we built here over 30 years".

It comes as the first bill curbing any Supreme Court review of some government decisions passed in a stormy Knesset parliament on Monday after a walkout by lawmakers. 

Opposition politicians accused long-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of pushing Israel towards autocracy.

Newspapers have historically altered their front pages in protest. 

Most famously, Indian newspapers published blank front pages in 1975 to protest censorship of the free press.

More recently, Hungarian papers published blank front pages in 2010 in response to proposed government censorship, and Australian newspapers acted similarly in 2019.

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