Despite recent terror and rocket attacks, judicial overhaul protests continue for 14th consecutive week
Organizers say terror increase shows government’s incompetence
Over 100,000 Israelis took to the streets across the nation on Saturday night to protest the coalition government.
Protest organizers argued that the nation’s “security has been compromised by the government’s incompetence.”
As in past demonstrations, the protests started in Tel Aviv with a march from Habima Square to Kaplan street. Many streets in Tel Aviv were closed for the protests.
While the demonstrations were held in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Rehovot, several other cities canceled their planned demonstrations in light of the security situation and the recent terror attacks.
Maj.-Gen. (reserve) Tal Russo, called on the protestors to cancel the planned demonstrations.
"In light of the difficult events throughout the country, security forces and police are deployed in locations from the Gaza envelope to the northern border. Therefore, I call on my fellow protesters against the regime revolution to cancel the demonstrations planned for tomorrow across the country," he said.
The Israel Police also called on demonstrators to not block main roads.
“At a time of a heightened security alert across the country, it is important to keep the roads open for the passage of emergency vehicles,” the police said in a statement.
Protestors in Tel Aviv held up signs which depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Pharaoh, which read “Let my people go!”
Another sign showed the pictures of Netanyahu, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir with the words “Security Breach!”
One group of protestors wore black uniforms with masks and held a sign which read: “The Dictator’s Rage Brigade," a reference to the National Guard force that Ben Gvir requested as part of a coalition agreement.
After Netanyahu called to pause judicial reform legislation over the holiday break to allow for dialogue towards a compromise, some commentators expressed their opinion that the protests would stop or be dramatically reduced. While they have been smaller in size, the demonstrations have still attracted more than 100,000 protestors each week.
The uniting issue among the protestors over the last two weeks appears to be opposition to Netanyahu and his coalition.
Several former Likud members spoke at the rallies in Tel Aviv and Haifa, including former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and former Justice and Finance Minsiter Meir Sheetrit who both served under Netanyahu and have accused the prime minister of prioritizing personal interests and undermining the security of Israel.
Tzipi Livni, another former Likud minister under Netanyahu, said: "History teaches us that dark days of terror and fear are exploited by rulers to strengthen a single regime."
Opposition leader Yair Lapid also spoke out on social media, accusing the coalition of destroying the democratic foundations of the country.
"The coalition threatens to abolish the democratic foundations of the country in a hasty, predatory process that will give the government unlimited power. It is disintegrating the people's army, our economy, our internal resilience," he wrote.
Another protest leader, Shikma Bressler, accused Netanyahu of being the problem. She has called for the protests to continue and repeatedly called for Netanyahu to be ousted from office. After listing a series of problems in the current government, she said, “We are not here despite these events, but because of them. There is a direct connection between these events and our struggle.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.