LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As the fight for democracy in Israel continues, locals here in Lansing are weighing in on their experiences.

That includes the mayor of Lansing who returned from the country on Saturday.

Many Israelis are protesting against judicial changes, and Mayor Andy Schor was visiting when the uprising began.

Others who live here have family and friends in the middle of it all.

“They are really trying to change the government, they are really threatening anybody that’s not like them,” says Yore Kedem, who teaches Hebrew at Michigan State University.

Kedem says he is worried for the country he called home for half his life. His family is still there protesting.

Yore Kedem, Hebrew Professor at MSU.

“And of course, I don’t want my people who live there to live like this,” continued Kedem. “I’m not very proud of this situation.”

Most of the protests in Tel Aviv and elsewhere have been peaceful, but there have been violent clashes with government troops.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing many controversial reforms that some call long overdue, while others believe are a threat to democracy.

“It’s an interesting system because there’s no constitution in Israel,” says Mayor Andy Schor.

Schor just returned from a week-long trip to Israel and saw a lot of what was going on.

Mayor Andy Schor, and other mayors met in Israel for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“We saw several thousand people protesting in Tel Aviv and it was interesting. They were all there with their Israeli flags, and they’re not protesting against Israel. They are protesting against what they see as a government overreach. So that was fascinating,” says Schor.

Kedem hopes peaceful protests and not violence will help stop any overhaul of the judicial system.

“If Israel turns into illiberal democracy, that is something that will always have to be mentioned, and always have to be discussed,” continued Kedem.

Right now, things appear at a standstill in Israel after Netanyahu delayed making any legal reforms. Changes could come up again when parliament meets in April.