• Anti-Netanyahu protester pepper-sprayed as demonstrations resume across Israel
    Bar Peleg, Nir Hasson, Noa Shpigel | Feb. 27, 2021 | Haaretz.com

    PMHundreds of people took on Saturday to the streets in Jerusalem and across Israel for the 36th week, protesting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

    In the Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya, police said they detained an 18-year-old man suspected of pepper-spraying an anti-Netanyahu protester in the city.

    The 50-year-old protester, who was taken to hospital, told Haaretz that pro-Netanyahu activists “were shouting at us, ’traitor leftists’ and at some point an argument broke out and it got violent. My wife was beaten and someone sprayed my eye and ran away.”

    This is the 13th time anti-Netanyahu protesters were pepper-sprayed during demonstrations, since the weekly anti-corruption protests began last year. Charges were filed only in two incidents.

    Some protest groups have argued that travel restrictions the cabinet approved for Jerusalem, as part of a series of measures to limit gatherings over the Purim holiday, were meant to limit participation in the main demonstration near the prime minister’s official residence.

    According to the cabinet’s decision, all public transportation and organized shuttles to and from Jerusalem weren’t allowed to operate starting Saturday at 6 P.M. Services are allowed to resume on Monday.

    Last week, protesters gathered at the Strings Bridge in Jerusalem, and marched to the prime minister’s official residence in Balfour Street, the epicenter of the protest.

    Hundreds more walked through Cesaerea, the upscale coastal resort town where Netanyahu’s private residence is situated. Like in other weeks, they were joined by many smaller groups at bridges and junctions across the country.

    Earlier this month, Netanyahu appeared in court to respond to charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases. He pleaded not guilty.

    ’Corrupt alliance’

    The Crime Minister protest group said ahead of Saturday’s protest, “60 percent of Israelis have had enough of your government and your corrupt alliance with the ultra-Orthodox and the Kahanists.”

    The group was referring to a surplus vote agreement signed earlier this month between Netanyahu’s Likud party and the far-right Religious Zionism party.

    Bezalel Smotrich, the chairman of far- right National Union party, and Itamar Ben-Gvir, the head of the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party, announced they would run on a joint slate in the election at the urging of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, creating the Religious Zionism party.

    Netanyahu seeks to create a big enough right-wing bloc that would recommend President Reuven Rivlin to give him the first chance to form a government after the election.

    Otzma Yehudit is made up of former disciples and political descendants of Meir Kahane – the infamous American-rabbi-turned-Knesset-member whose vitriolic racism against Arabs got his Kach party banned from running in the 1988 election.

    After Netanyahu convinced Otzma Yehudit to join forces with the Habayit Hayehudi party for the election in April of 2019, AIPAC, the most powerful pro-Israel lobby group in Washington, called it a “racist and reprehensible party.”

    Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg also slammed Netanyahu for “bring(ing) extremist racists into the Knesset just to escape trial for serious corruption charges.”

    #Israelmanifs 36

  • Anti-Netanyahu activists report assaults as hundreds protest a month before election
    Bar Peleg, Nir Hasson, Noa Shpigel | Feb. 20, 2021 | Haaretz.com

    Protesters take to the streets in Jerusalem, Caesarea and throughout the country for the 35th week in a row

    With just over a month to go before Israel’s election, hundreds of people gathered on Saturday throughout Israel to protest corruption and the government’s coronavirus response, for the 35th week in a row.

    Earlier this month, Netanyahu appeared in court to respond to charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases. He pleaded not guilty.

    Protesters gathered at the Strings Bridge in Jerusalem, and marched to the prime minister’s official residence in Balfour Street, the epicenter of the protest.

    Hundreds more walked through Cesaerea, the upscale coastal resort town where Benjamin Netanyahu’s private residence is situated. Like in other weeks, they were joined by many smaller groups at bridges and junctions across the country.

    At least three incidents were reported of protesters being violently confronted by Netanyahu supporters. 70-year-old Yair Kidan said he was attacked on a bridge in northern Israel. “He tore up our signs, grabbed my phone [...] and hit me with his bike,” Kidan said. Two other incidents in central Israel were reported to the police. Last week, more than ten such incidents were reported.

    Some of the anti-Netanyahu protest groups are also planning to demonstrate outside Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s house next week. They are calling on the Kahol Lavan party leader – who vowed to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the 2020 election but ended up joining his government – to quit the race. “Gantz has betrayed his voters more than once,” said one of the protest groups, Kumi Israel. “We won’t let that happen again. It’s simple: If Gantz doesn’t quit, Netanyahu stays.”

    The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, one of the organizers, said: “We won’t give in to the unbearable situation in which the prime minister… holds an entire country hostage in his attempt to evade justice.”

    #Israelmanifs 35

  • As election campaign kicks off, anti-Netanyahu protesters around Israel face violence
    Bar Peleg, Noa Shpigel | Feb. 13, 2021 | 7:36 PM - Haaretz.com

    As election campaign kicks off, anti-Netanyahu protesters around Israel face violence
    Four detained for attacks on protesters; demonstrators threatened at gun point, pelted with stones and assaulted amid weekly rallies calling for Netanyahu’s resignation

    The demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday have been marred by reports of violence, as protesters called for the premier’s removal for the 34th consecutive week.

    Police have detained four suspects in relation to various attacks on protesters, with an eyewitness reporting two additional arrests that are yet to be confirmed by the police.

    Around 1500 protesters gathered outside the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem. Hundreds marched in Caesarea to the Netanyahus’ private residence, as other demonstrators gathered on key intersections and bridges across the country.

    Protester Avi Shmueli, who was demonstrating on a bridge in central Israel, told Haaretz that he was threatened at gunpoint. “Today, a car came, and a young woman got out and pulled a pistol – I don’t know if it was real or not – and threatened us for a few seconds with the gun.” He said that although he was not able to get a picture of the gun, he gave the car’s details to the police. After she pointed the gun at protesters, Shmueli said that the woman drove off. “It feels like as the election gets closer, the violence increases.”

    Police detained the driver of the vehicle, as well as the suspect accused of making the threat, who had her plastic pistol seized. Both suspects, who are 18 and 19 years old, hail from Givat Shmuel in central Israel, local police sources say.

    Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid lay the blame squarely with the prime minister in a stern warning: “It will end in murder...The incitement comes from Balfour, and the spirit of violence and hatred is dangerous and destructive. I call on the prime minister - stop the incitement. Your activists have lost their way,” he said.

    The Black Flag movement said in response that “no one is surprised that a gun was drawn on protesters. We have no expectations that the defendant [Netanyahu] or his associates will condemn the act...This is the result of their incitement and this is exactly why we are out here demonstrating,” they wrote.

    In Ramat Gan, a Tel Aviv suburb, an eyewitness said that two Netanyahu supporters attacked an elderly man and another woman. “If there weren’t 40 people there, it would have ended in disaster,” local protest leader Yafit Ezer said.

    “It took the police 25 minutes to arrive. We called them three times and it was frightening. Police detained them for questioning. We will not be scared next week. There will be 80 of us,” she added.

    The Black Flag movement also reported that a car window was smashed at the protest site in the southern kibbutz of Dvira, protesters were verbally abused in Herzliya, pelted with stones in Netanya, and physically assaulted in Rishon Letzion.

    A protest leader at the demonstration in Rishon Letzion, Rosie Keidar, witnessed the assault. “Suddenly, Bibi [Netanyahu] supporters came to our junction and started tearing down flags and beating two demonstrators. A police car arrived and they are filing a complaint. This is the first time there has been physical violence at our intersection. We have gotten used to verbal abuse, but we won’t sit by in silence as violence occurs.”

    Police confirmed that one person was detained at the scene.

    Meanwhile, a police spokesperson said that a 22-year-old has been detained over an alleged assault of a protester in Nahariya in northern Israel. The suspect threw a flag and a drink can at the demonstrators before fleeing the scene.

    Itamar Berger, a local protest organizer, responded to the attack: “Unfortunately, this is not an exceptional event and is almost a routine reality. The police responded quickly and decisively. The attack did not happen on its own. Someone is inciting it against us,” he said.

    The Movement for Quality Government, who organized the demonstration in Caesarea, stated: “This week something happened in Israel for the first time in the country’s history: an incumbent prime minister sat on the dock in court. This is not a normal situation and we should not grow accustomed to it in any way,” they wrote.

    “Netanyahu faces a fundamental conflict of interest every day...The huge failure to manage the coronavirus crisis is largely influenced by his legal status,” the statement added.

    The Black Flag movement also released a statement prior to the protest, stating: “More than 5300 have die due to coronavirus failures. A bankrupt education system and a disconnected education minister. A complete loss of trust in the government led by the defendant, which is driven solely by Netanyahu’s fear of the threat of justice. The citizens of Israel deserve leadership that serves the public interest. The protest will continue.”

    #Israelmanifs 34

  • Thousands of Israelis protest in front of Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem
    Nir Hasson, Noa Shpigel | Feb. 6, 2021 | 9:56 PM - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Israelis and Palestinians march from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to join the 33rd week of protests against Netanyahu

    Thousands of Israelis showed up to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of his official residence in Jerusalem on Saturday evening, for the 33rd week in a row.

    Before gathering at the Balfour Street destination, several groups marched through the city streets. Hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians assembled in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to protest against systematic evictions of Palestinian residents from the neighborhood.

    The joint Israeli-Palestinian protest was an unusual event, since Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem do not protest in the western part of the city, particularly for political issues. Additionally, it was the first protest in years against activities carried out by right wing organizations in Silwan where both Palestinians and Israelis protested together.

    Clashes broke out between officers and protesters, after the police blocked one of the exits from Paris Square, the site of the protests. One protester, Asaf Agmon, sustained a head injury and was evacuated from the scene.

    Waving placards and banners branded with the logo of the Peace Now organization, and waving pink flags, one of the symbols of the greater protest movement, they then marched towards Balfour, joining the rest of the protesters.

    According to Peace Now, this is the first time that Palestinians from East Jerusalem have engaged with the Balfour Street protest movement. The message they were trying to convey was that “the pro-democracy struggle against corruption and the struggle against the occupation are interconnected,” a spokesperson for the organization said.

    Prior to the demonstration, police had blocked the streets near the prime minister’s residence.

    At the same time, hundreds of people marched in Caesarea, where the Likud leader has his private residence. The demonstration ended around 9 P.M.

    Earlier in the day, demonstrations took place at bridges and intersections throughout the country. “All over... there are people who keep the embers of democracy burning,” Shikma Schwartzman of the Black Flags Movement said: “Our job from now until the election is to press with all our might so that all the people go out to vote.”

    The protest movement has coalesced around one idea - to force Benjamin Netanyahu to step down. It is home to a very diverse crowd, with different parts of the body of demonstrators sometimes holding opposite views regarding things as crucial to Israeli lives as the conflict with the Palestinians.

    #Israelmanifs 33

  • Thousands of Israelis protest against Netanyahu for 31st consecutive week
    Nir Hasson, Noa Shpigel, Bar Peleg | Jan. 23, 2021 | 7:45 PM - Haaretz.com

    Some 1,500 protesters converged on Jerusalem’s Paris Square on Saturday to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the 31st week in a row, two months before the country is scheduled to head to its fourth election in two years.

    Protest groups accused Netanyahu of corruption and authoritarianism, and of deeply mishandling the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. Smaller demonstrations were also held outside Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea, in Tel Aviv and at hundreds of traffic junctions and bridges throughout the country.

    Protests near Netanyahu’s official residence began last year, initially demanding his resignation over corruption charges in three cases, for which he is currently on trial. The groups behind the protest have also pointed to Netanyahu’s fiery criticism of Israel’s courts and the press as attempts to deliberately undermine democracy.

    “The Netanyahu legacy will remain with us for a long time,” said one protester on Saturday, who warned that “the legacy of corruption” was permeating local government, as well.

    Another protester called on leaders of various parties who oppose Netanyahu to unite ahead of the March election. “Ego is the driving factor” of the failure to do this, he said.

    “We came here to live in Israel together with the Arabs and the Christians and everyone who lives here,“ said another protester, an immigrant. “We don’t want to live in a dictatorship, and there is a dictatorship here.”

    Ahead of Saturday’s demonstration, protest groups had highlighted the country’s twin economic and health crises. The Crime Minister group criticized the decision to place the entire country under lockdown rather than specific high-infection areas – a move that some have claimed was motivated by a desire not to anger Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox political allies.

    Citing the deaths of over 4,000 people, the failure of tens of thousands of businesses, and increasing poverty, Crime Minister said the failures in dealing with the pandemic were worse than the failure that led to the country being unprepared for being attacked in the Yom Kippur War.

    The Kumi Israel youth group said Netanyahu was dealing with petty politics with the purpose of ensuring his political survival at the time of a grave and deadly national crisis.

    #Israelmanifs 31

  • Anti-Netanyahu protests resume across Israel for 30th week in a row - Israel News
    Nir Hasson | Jan. 16, 2021 | 9:38 PM - Haaretz.com

    In Jerusalem, thousands marched through the city toward Paris Square, the central site of the demonstrations in the capital, adjacent to the prime minister’s official residence on Balfour Street
    Nir Hasson | Jan. 16, 2021 | 9:38 PM

    Thousands are demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and at traffic junctions, bridges and intersections nationwide for the 30th week in a row on Saturday.

    In Jerusalem, several thousands gathered near the Chords Bridge and headed to Paris Square, the central site of the demonstrations in the capital, adjacent to the prime minister’s official residence on Balfour Street.

    Earlier on Saturday afternoon, the police set up roadblocks on the streets leading to the premier’s Balfour residence – a response to protesters’ arrival at demonstrations earlier in the afternoon over the past several weeks in anticipation of police deployment.

    Dozens of demonstraters gathered In Nes Tziona, where they face threats and occasionally physical attacks from anti-Netanyahu counter protesters each week. A number of Netanyahu supporters gathered at the site of the protest, threatening and swearing at the demonstrators. According to witnesses, at the end of the protest, one of the Netanyahu supporters spat at the protesters, then pushed them. He was subsequently arrested by police.

    Demonstrators gathered in Caesarea, close to Netanyahu’s private residence. Protests also took place in Holon, where last week, four were arrested on suspicion of firing tear gas at anti-Netanyahu protesters. The court dismissed them under restrictive conditions, and the police said one of them was trying to disrupt the investigation.

    Ahead of the demonstrations, the Crime Minister group called “on all those for whom Israel is important to show up tonight at Balfour and make it clear to the defendant that he cannot take an entire country hostage and evade the law," referring to the premier who stands trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

    On Wednesday, when Netanyahu’s next hearing in his corruption trial was initially slated to take place, Crime Minister activists held up a “wake-up” call demonstration at 5:30 A.M., the first time they had gathered at such an hour.

    On Monday, the panel of judges presiding over Netanyahu’s trial, had announced that the next hearing will be held on February 8. That announcement came just a few days after the court had ruled that the trial would be postponed “indefinitely,” citing coronavirus lockdown restrictions, even though, just days prior, the court had rejected a request made by the premier’s defense counsel to postpone the hearing, also citing the lockdown.

    Israel’s third nationwide coronavirus lockdown – considered by many to be a “political lockdown” – commenced on December 27, with restrictions having been further tightened for a two-week period that began at midnight between January 7 and 8.

    #Israelmanifs 30

  • Thousands of anti-Netanyahu protesters gather amid warnings of violence against protesters
    Nir Hasson, Bar Peleg, Noa Shpigel | Jan. 9, 2021 - Haaretz.com

    Protests across the country follow report by three TV channels which alleged that the PM’s safety was compromised during a demonstration, even though police statements in court made no such claim

    Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday at various junctions and bridges across Israel for the 29th week in a row, with demonstrations also having taken place outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem and his private residence in Caesarea.

    Saturday’s protests followed a report that was aired on Friday on Israel’s three major news programs, which alleged that last week’s demonstrations posed a threat to the prime minister. The protests also came on the heels of Friday’s announcement by the Jerusalem District Court that the next hearing in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial, set for Wednesday, has been postponed indefinitely, citing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

    As dozens of protesters marched through the Meditech plaza in the central city of Holon, they were pepper sprayed by three youths, one of whom, a 23-year-old resident of the city, was subsequently arrested by the police.

    The police also arrested a young man on suspicion of attacking a demonstrator in the central Israel city of Kfar Yona. According to an eyewitness, there were two incidents: one attacker was detained and the police are searching for the second one.

    He said an 18-year-old man in the intersection in Kfar Yona “approached a girl who was arranging the flags, stepped on them and flung them to the ground.” Once the eyewitness confronted him, and took out his mobile phone to film the incident, the assailant pushed him and threw his phone to the ground.

    A police officer then arrived at the scene to gather a testimony, “and then another man came to the same girl again and started clutching onto to her and pushing her, and he was detained,” the eyewitness added.

    This week, activists from the protest movement reported that the police blocked off roads to Jerusalem, preventing demonstrators from entering the city. According to the activists, the police told them that entry to the city for the purpose of protesting was only permitted from 5:30 P.M.

    A statement from Crime Minister, a key bloc within the protest movement, ahead of Saturday night’s demonstration called on the police to be extra vigilant in protecting demonstrators from “incensed Netanyahu supporters,” amid the increased incitement and comparisons of the protest movement to Trump supporters’ breach of Capitol Hill on Wednesday. “The writing is on the wall and the police should wake up,” they wrote.

    Ahead of the demonstrations, the “Rise Israel” protest group said: “It is very unfortunate that while the demonstrators are trying to defend democracy, Netanyahu, a close friend of Trump, is busy inciting against them and eliminating democracy in order to avoid trial. The harsh scenes from the United States must serve as a clear warning sign of the price of incitement, populism and the cult of personality.”

    According to Friday’s reports, the prime minister and his family were evacuated to a safe room after an attempt by demonstrators to break into the compound of his residence last week.

    However, the protesters did not appear to try to breach any barriers. As part of what they call “the siege on Balfour,” they sought to demonstrate near the permanent barrier outside the prime minister’s house, as opposed to the designated police area.

    Over the last two weeks, the protesters began their activities earlier in the afternoon, in anticipation of police deployment. The demonstrators managed to reach the barricade before they were forcibly evacuated by police and eight people were arrested. However, police did not claim they were trying to break into the prime minister’s house in court.

    The Black Flag movement, one of the main groups in the protest movement, released a statement demanding that the “news channels correct the lie that was aired."

    “In recent months, there has been a tough and brutal campaign of incitement against the demonstrators protesting against government corruption. As a result of the incitement, there have been hundreds of documented cases of assault. The way to halt this process and to get Israel back on track is to impose term limits and to launch an uncompromising war on the culture of lies and corruption of the Netanyahu government,” the Black Flag movement’s statement continued.

    In a statement issued by the Movement for Quality Government ahead of Saturday evening’s demonstrations, the group did not mince words: “Netanyahu imposed a tight lockdown on us a few days before an important hearing in his trial and indeed succeeded in causing it to be postponed. How can we believe that the decision on the lockdown was made in a matter-of-fact manner and was not driven by extraneous considerations?”

    #Israelmanifs 29

  • Police detain protesters outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence as demos resume
    Nir Hasson, Noa Shpigel, Bar Peleg | Jan. 2, 2021 | Haaretz.com

    Police detain protesters outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence as demos resume
    Anti-corruption demonstrations across the country continue into their 28th week, with two teens arrested for alleged attack in northern Israel

    Israel Police detained on Saturday 11 anti-government protesters outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem, amid demonstrations across Israel, which have entered their 28th week.

    The remaining protesters, who numbered around 100 in the afternoon, were removed from the street leading to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence and relocated to Keren Hayesod Street, which is further away from the residence.

    Later on in the evening, thousands more protesters joined them in Jerusalem, and more in hundreds of other locations nationwide, including outside Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea. Dozens of protesters came out to several locations in Tel Aviv.

    Israel Police said two minors aged 14 and 15 were arrested, after they hurled rocks at anti-Netanyahu protesters in the nornern town of Yavne’el, close to the Kinneret.

    The police said in a statement that “earlier in the evening, a complaint was received regarding stone throwing [in Yavne’el], and one of the demonstrators was lightly injured as a result. Police officers gathered findings and opened an investigation into the matter, and shortly afterwards the minors were arrested.”

    Earlier Saturday, a convoy with several dozen cars representing the Arab-Jewish “Standing Together” movement drove through a few towns, and ended in a demonstration close to the Government Office in Nazareth.

    The Black Flag movement said in a statement: “The incitement and violence won’t stop us on waging a war to save Israel’s democracy. The attempted murder, the car ramming attacks and the arson won’t scare us, the continuation of Israel’s democracy depends on our determination and struggle.”

    The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, one of the organizers of the protests, said: “With the elections around the corner, we won’t let the transitional government’s corruption ruin democracy or squash any basic norms. We aren’t scared, and we’re not stopping, even in a lockdown.”

    On Thursday, hundreds of people demonstrated against Netanyahu in several locations across Israel, with dozens of protesters blocking a major junction in central Tel Aviv.

    Some 200 people demonstrated on Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Junction, some of which had marched from Habima Square. The junction was blocked by protesters calling for the opening of an inquiry into the so-called ’submarine affair’.

    In the northern city of Binyamina, dozens of Netanyahu supporters staged a counter protest, some clashing with the police and anti-Netanyahu protesters.

    According to the police, anti-Netanyahu protesters began marching in Binyamina, violating the agreement between protesters and the police.

    The police also said that they tried to keep the protesters off the road for their own safety. One anti-Netanyahu protester was arrested on suspicion of assaulting police officers.

    Netanyahu is on trial in three corruption cases, facing charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. Protesters have demanded the premier resign over his indictment, which he dismisses as a “conspiracy” by the left-wing to take him down.

    #Israelmanifs 28

  • Thousands protest against Netanyahu; 6 arrested, protesters report attacks by PM’s supporters
    Nir Hasson, Noa Shpigel | Dec. 26, 2020 | Haaretz.com

    Video shows police attempt to forcefully remove demonstrators ■ Protesters start small bonfire

    Thousands of Israelis protested Saturday outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem and across the country, with several reporting that they were attacked by the premier’s supporters.

    Around 3,000 protesters that gathered in Paris Square, near Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem.

    The protests began earlier than previous weeks in order to arrive before police closed the area off. Over the last month, police have banned protests that stray from the nearby Paris Square by cordoning off the prime minister’s residence, even to pedestrians.

    The Israel Police have arrested six protesters as demonstrators clashed with the officers. Videos show police officers forcefully removing protesters from the scene. All 200 protesters were eventually forced out by police to Paris Square.

    Meanwhile, several other demonstrators, who arrived with torches, started a small bonfire near the main entry to the residence. It has been since put out by firefighters and relighted by the protesters two more times.

    Demonstrators protested in front of a black curtain that hangs at the front of Netanyahu’s official residence, which protesters called to “bring down the curtain.”

    The intention of these latest protests is to surround all the entrances of the premier’s residence in an act they have nicknamed the “Balfour siege.”

    Around 200 anti-Netanyahu protesters gathered in Nes Tziona in front of ten pro-Netanyahu counter protesters who held signs that read “leftist traitors” and “the leftist enemy,” while also shouting the names of the leaders of several anti-Netanyahu movements.

    In Giv’at Ada, a town near Haifa, anti-Netanyahu protesters said they were attacked by Netanyahu supporters. A video of the incident shows a man in a black shirt approaching an anti-Netanyahu protester and hitting him in the neck, and a brief confrontation ensues. Israel Police arrived to the scene and are investigating the situation.

    Following the incident, Israel Police announced that they arrested a 17 year old resident of Or Akiva, and a 52 year old woman, both accused of attacking protesters. Israel Police said: “At the end of the investigation, and in accordance with the evidence presented, extending the suspects’ custody was discussed.”

    In the central Israeli city of Rishon Letzion, protesters reported that a man threatened them, holding what appeared to be a knife. One of the protesters said the group marched from the Monument to the Fallen in Rishon Letzion to a place where a shuttle bus was going to take them to Balfour Street.

    According to the protester, a car stopped in front of them and threw what appeared to be a bottle. A protester threw it back at the car, and the driver exited the car and approached the protester in what appeared to be a threatening manner. “The man returned to the car, pulled on the handbrake and pulled out what looked like a switchblade it, and I saw him open it.”

    According to a video of the incident, the driver went back into his car and drove away. The protester said he issued a formal complaint with the police, and said he’d provide evidence.

    Saturday’s protest marks the 27th week of the anti-Netanyahu protests. Hundreds also marched from Jerusalem’s String Bridge to the Balfour residence.

    Protests also took place on bridges and junctions across the country, as well as at Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea, and in Tel Aviv.

    #Israelmanifs 27

  • Anti-Netanyahu protesters mark six months of weekly demonstrations Bar Peleg | Dec. 19, 2020 | 7:22 PM - Haaretz.com

    Protesters against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are demonstrating in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and at traffic junctions, bridges and intersections nationwide for the 25th week in a row on Saturday, marking six months since the protest movement began.

    In Jerusalem, thousands of demonstrators are protesting in Paris Square, the central site of the demonstrations in the capital, adjacent to the prime minister’s official residence on Balfour Street, having marched there from the Chords Bridge.

    Protesters are demanding Netanyahu resign amid his criminal trial in three corruption cases and mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis.

    The model submarines that have been visible at the weekly protests for months are also at the protest in Jerusalem, under the banner of the “Investigation Now” protest group, which continues to demand that Israel’s law enforcement agencies probe the so-called submarine affair and establish a state commission of inquiry.

    Dozens of demonstrators are protesting outside the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where Netanyahu became the first in Israel to receive the vaccine against coronavirus earlier Saturday night.

    In Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, dozens are protesting at a demonstration organized by the Movement for Quality Government.

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in the city of Ness Tziona for the second time this weekend, after anti-Netanyahu activists were targeted with malicious, threatening graffiti on their homes last week. Opposite them stood several pro-Netanyahu demonstrators holding up signs that read “Traitorous Leftists” and “Enemy Leftists.”

    Members of the group “Guardians of the Fortress,” who define themselves as veteran Likud members and demonstrate against Netanyahu on a weekly basis in Tel Aviv were also present at the demonstration in Ness Ziona. One of them, Danny Betito, said he was tired of the rift, division and corruption and called on Likud party members to change the song, so to speak, saying there is “no other way.”

    Ahead of Saturday night’s demonstrations, the Black Flag protest movement said: “In the last six months, Israel has undergone two lockdowns and we are on our way to a third only because Netanyahu is busy with his trial, tax benefits for himself and petty politics - this is not going to change.”

    People also protested in front of Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz’s house in Rosh Ha’ayin. They criticized Gantz’s political conduct in the coalition and claimed he is folding in negotiations with Netanyahu over the 2021 state budget.

    This week will determine whether the Knesset will be dissolved and Israelis will head to the polls for the fourth time in two years. If the state budget for 2020 is not approved by Tuesday, the Knesset will automatically dissolve. Negotiations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan aimed at preventing the dissolution of the Knesset are set to continue on Saturday night.

    Noga Tarnopolsky

    Meanwhile, live, from Jerusalem, IT IS SATURDAY NIGHT. @TheBlackFlags1
    celebrates six months of the anti-Netanyahu protests. #SNL


    #Israelmanifs 26

  • Manifs anti-Netanyahu : les Israéliens francophones sont aussi dans la rue
    By Dahlia Perez | 17 December 2020| The Times of Israël

    Le vaste mouvement de protestation qui secoue le pays dénonce la mauvaise gestion présumée de la pandémie, mais aussi la corruption et l’érosion de la démocratie


  • Two thousand Israelis protest against Netanyahu in Jerusalem for 25th week in a row
    Bar Peleg and Nir Hasson - Haaretz.com

    Two thousands Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of his official residence in Jerusalem, as demonstrations calling for the premier’s resignation resumed on Saturday evening, for the 25th week in a row.

    Noga Tarnopolsky

    Jerusalem anti-Netanyahu protest, 10:30 pm. In the background, the anthem “Bibi Ciao.” The submarine reads “no mercy.” (Netanyahu is suspected of shenanigans in the purchase of Navy vessels)

    #Israelmanifs 25

  • Around 30 arrested as thousands protest against Netanyahu in Jerusalem
    Bar Peleg, Noa Shpigel | Dec. 5, 2020 | 9:58 PM

    Jerusalem court to debate motion to dismiss indictments against Netanyahu Sunday ■ Tel Aviv protest nixed in hopes of boosting Jerusalem turnout

    Some 30 protesters against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were arrested on Saturday as thousands gathered in Jerusalem and at traffic junctions nationwide for the 24th week in a row.

    The protest in Jerusalem was the largest in weeks, drawing thousands of demonstrators, ahead of a court hearing on Netanyahu’s request to dismiss his corruption cases slated for Sunday.

    Police in Jerusalem arrested around 30 people on suspicion of disturbing the peace and used force to disperse protesters blocking Balfour Street to traffic. The Crime Minister protest group condemned the arrests, saying in a statement: “Tonight, it was proven that the Jerusalem Police are a political police on steroids.”

    On Sunday, the Jerusalem District Court is set to debate a motion by Netanyahu’s attorneys to dismiss the indictments against the prime minister.

    The groups organizing the protests spent the past week on an effort to bring thousands of people to the protest in Jerusalem near Netanyahu’s official residence.

    Meanwhile, a supporter of Netanyahu was arrested at a protest in Nes Tziona after allegedly attacking a policeman. According to witness accounts, a group of young men arrived and began cursing the protesters and tried to start fights, and ended up clashing with police officers separating the groups.

    Protesters at a traffic junction near Rehovot said occupants of a passing car threw a metal box at them, striking one protester in the chest. According to the protester, the police were called and said they would send an officer, but none arrived. Instead, he said, a policeman called 40 minutes later asking him to come and file a complaint.

    A protester named Yaron said he had previously protested near Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea and at traffic junctions, but that this was his first time attending a protest in Jerusalem after seeing on social media that it was a particularly important demonstration to attend. “Personally, I am always saying, ’next week I’ll be at Balfour [Street]’ and don’t do it,” he said. “I’m so happy I came here.”

    Protester Ronen Lin, who demonstrated at Elyakim Bridge, said fewer people were present than usual, as many of those usually present planned to attend the Jerusalem protest. “The crack in the wall has grown,” he said. “The prime minister has lost it. He’s motivated by fear of his trial.”

    Protesters began marching at four points in Jerusalem before they converged on Paris Square, near the prime minister’s official residence. Meanwhile, a convoy of dozens of vehicles drove from the central part of the country to Jerusalem, and a march took place in Nes Tziona, where a protester was assaulted last week.

    For the first time in two months, the Movement for Quality Government did not hold a protest in Tel Aviv in order to keep the focus on the protest in Jerusalem. Also for the first time in two months, the Helem Tarbut group, which includes mostly figures involved in Tel Aviv’s cultural and nightlife sector, sent buses of demonstrators to the main protest in Jerusalem.

    Ahead of the protest, the Kumi Israel youth protest group accused Netanyahu of “dragging an entire country to an unnecessary election in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic because he failed in managing the crisis.”

    The Black Flag protest group meanwhile criticized the Jerusalem Municipality’s removal on Friday night of a statue erected at Paris Square that depicted a kneeling protester holding an Israeli flag – inspired by an Associated Press photograph of a protester hit by a police water cannon – and said that “[o]ur obligation as citizens during the election campaign is to come out and protest against the criminal defendant and give him no rest.”

    The protests against Netanyahu have mostly focused on the criminal charges against him in three corruption cases, with some demonstrators also protesting his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. They have been marked by police violence and the assault of protesters by right-wing opponents.

    #Israelmanifs 24

  • ’Netanyahu endangers Israel’ : Thousands protest against PM across Israel
    Noa Shpigel, Bar Peleg | Nov. 28, 2020 | 9:07 PM - Haaretz.com

    Thousands of protesters demonstrated on Saturday evening against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at intersections, bridges and squares across Israel, as weekly demonstrations continued for the 23rd week in a row.

    Several thousands gathered outside the prime minister’s official residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street. Demonstrations also took place in Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Holon and other locations across Israel, including the Arab towns of Taibeh, Umm al-Fahm and Kafr Yassif, calling on the prime minister to resign amid corruption charges.

    Earlier in the day, a protest convoy of more than 100 cars carrying inflatable submarines and F-35 props set out toward Jerusalem to join the weekly demonstration, from Caesarea, where Netanyahu’s private residence is located. They were joined by vehicles from Rosh Ha’ayin, where Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gantz resides.

    As protesters gathered in Caesarea, Amiram Levin, a retired major general, addressed Gantz, who on Sunday had announced that he has established a governmental commission of inquiry into the submarine affair that has become a central element in the protests.

    Activists are unsatisfied with the commission established by Defense Minister Benny Gantz this past week, which they argue does not have enough legal powers to take action.

    Levin quipped: “Those who have sold and keep selling us the slogan ’Israel comes first,’ are groveling once again, while putting Bibi and themselves first, by setting up a fake commission with no powers.”

    Levin went on to say: “You put Israel last. Defense minister – what a disgrace. Preventing an investigation into the submarine affair is transforming us from a country with corruption to a corrupt country, led by a corrupt regime. We will not agree to this and that’s why we are here.”

    Once the convoys reached the Hemed Interchange on the way to Jerusalem, where some 200 protesters had gathered, they marched. One protest leader was detained on suspicion of having vandalized property with graffiti.

    Two weeks ago, demonstrators confronted the police at the same location, leading to 25 of them being detained. The court issued a restraining order barring many of them from demonstrating at the interchange for 15 days.

    Former Shin Bet director and Navy commander Ami Ayalon lashed out at Netanyahu, saying: "You’ve become a danger to Israel’s security. Approving the sale of advanced submarines to Egypt, while keeping the navy chief, the chief of staff and the defense minister in the dark constitutes a serious blow to the security of the State of Israel.

    “You are crushing Israeli society. But we are here to tell you: ’take the defendant’s seat and fight to prove your innocence,” Ayalon said.

    In Tel Aviv, the director of the Herzliya Gymnasium, Dr. Zeev Degani, called on the police to resign and become teachers. “I invite the police officers whose current job of suppressing legitimate criticism of the government is inconsistent with their personal values, to leave the police - we have a place in the gymnasium,” Degani said. “You can teach citizenship, democracy and human rights.”

    As a demonstration in the central Israeli town of Nes Ziona drew to a close, a confrontation broke out between demonstrators and 15 young people carrying signs that read “Leftists are Traitors.” Witnesses said they cursed the anti-Netanyahu demonstrators, and that a fight had broken out when one of them had struck the car of an anti-Netanyahu demonstrator. Police were called to the scene and separated the groups.

    In preparation for the demonstration in Jerusalem, the police blocked traffic leading up to Paris Square, adjacent to Balfour Street. Indictments were filed this week against two prominent anti-Netanyahu demonstrators, Gonen Ben Yitzhak and Bar Benjamin, for their role in organizing the protests. Ben Yitzhak has been charged with obstructing a police officer and prohibited gathering, and Benjamin has been charged with assaulting an officer under aggravated circumstances.

    Ahead of the protests, a number of leading member groups of the demonstration movement issued statements expressing their support for the protests and lambasting the prime minister.

    The Crime Minister group, of which Ben Yitzhak is a member, said: “The Gonen case illustrates that democracy is deteriorating and the state is diving. Hunting the protesters and turning the police into a political tool illustrates the seriousness of the dangerous processes led by Netanyahu, the clients of dark regimes. Tonight we will prove to the defendant we are determined and he cannot be allowed to crush democracy and evade the serious indictments.”

    The Black Flag movement said: “Another terrible week has passed for the people of Israel, another week in which Netanyahu crushes the economy and fails to deal with coronavirus, but breaks new records of incitement against the citizens of the country. The citizens of the state deserve hope and unity and a government that passes a budget and works for the citizens.”

    #Israelmanifs 23

  • Undeterred by stormy weather, thousands protest outside Netanyahu’s residences
    21 novembre 2020 - Haaretz.com

    Four were arrested as 3,000 rally in Jerusalem, with another 2,500 protesting outside Netanyahu’s private home in Caesarea; 66-year-old woman taken to hospital after alleged police violence


  • Thousands protest Netanyahu in Jerusalem, at least 18 arrested ahead of demonstration
    Nov. 14, 2020 - Haaretz.com

    Thousands are protesting outside the prime minister’s residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street Saturday evening, demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu step down in light of his indictments in three corruption cases.

    Protesters marched outside an apartment owned by the prime minister on Jerusalem’s Haportsim Street to his official residence on Balfour. Demonstrators from the culture sector, who have been hard-hit by the coronavirus regulations, erected a “Trojan Horse” installation outside the residence, where the crowd has gathered.

    Protesters tried to begin a protest march throughout the city streets, but were blocked by police at Agron Street. One man was arrested for reasons that are as of yet unclear.

    Hundreds of protesters have gathered in Tel Aviv. A 300-strong protest march has departed from Habima Square, where they are joining another few hundred at Rabin Square. There, Eliad Shraga, the leader of the Movement for a Quality Government, adressed the legal drama surrounding the current governing coalition. In his speech to the hundreds at the square, he said "This two-headed beast isn’t working...the crisis is not managed. "Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Yadlin also spoke, deriding the decision-makers and saying that the submarine affair causes him to lose sleep.

    Many protests against Netanyahu are taking place throughout the country Saturday night, at bridges, squares and interchanges. Protesters are reporting violence against demonstrators.

    Police have arrested a suspect for disturbing the peace in Tel Aviv, after he stole a sign from a protester and ripped it up. The protester said that a young man walked up to him and started screaming that he would “kill anyone who opposes Bibi.” Police said the suspect is a 29-year-old Ashdod resident, who has been taken for questioning.

    few hundred are gathered outside Netanyahu’s private home in Caesarea; a protest convoy of dozens of vehicles brought demonstrators from throughout the north. Among the signs are ones reading “Take your son and your wife and go on your way,” a biblical reference. Crowds are singing “Yallah Bibi, go.”

    A few dozen pro-Netanyahu counter-protesters have made an appearance as well, and are shouting “leftists are traitors” and “disease spreaders.”

    A few hundred protesters are also demonstrating in Haifa.

    On Route 4 in the north, between Tirat Carmel and Atlit, a can was reportedly thrown at a protester, and hit him in the head.

    At Ramat Hasharon’s Morasha Interchange, an assailant threw a rock at protesters gathered there, hitting a car decorated with the protest moevement’s black flags and smashing its windshield.

    The vehicle’s owner said she was waiting in her car to join the protest convoy to Balfour Street when she heard a noise and saw that her back windshield had been broken. She did not see who threw it. Police told her they were sending an officer to the scene, but then told her that she should instead drive to the police station and file a report there instead.

    Earlier Saturday, Police attempted to stop a protest march along the road to Jerusalem, which they said was not approved, in which demonstrators are demanding an investigation into the so-called “submarine affair.”

    In a statement, the police said they arrested 18 people who did not listen to police orders, but protesters said that 23 of them had been detained. The statement adds that the march was endangering the lives of the protesters and drivers on the road. Police later released all but two of the 25 protesters arrested to their homes.

    Protesters entered the Hemed Interchange, west of Jerusalem and clashed with police as the march began. Police diverted traffic on the road and set up roadblocks to keep the protesters from advancing.

    According to a police statement, officers had succeeded in stopping the marchers in the Bet Zayit Interchange area, nearly four and a half kilometers from the march’s point of origin. A number of protesters continued marching despite the roadblocks, the statement said. A short while later, the intersection was reopened to traffic.

    The “Investigation Now” protest group said that despite the arrests and the “severe police brutality,” dozens of protesters and one inflatable submarine managed to make their way to Jerusalem. Demonstrators reported that a man with his face covered threw a rock at the protesters on the Chords Bridge.


    Noga Tarnopolsky

    Anti-Netanyahu protesters outside the prime minister’s prive home in Caesarea, week XXI. @TheBlackFlags1

  • Thousands protest against Netanyahu across Israel, three attacks reported against demonstrators
    A protester in Ramat Gan was pepper sprayed by someone passing by on a scooter ■ Man in Ramat Hasharon was beaten by two men ■ Protesters say one was wounded after plainclothes officer kicked him in the head
    Bar Peleg, Noa Shpigel, Nir Hasson | Nov. 1, 2020 | 12:04 AM

    Thousands of Israelis returned to the streets and bridges all across the country to protest againt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, continuing to demand his resignation over his corruption cases for the 19th week in a row.

    With the protest being held close to the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, groups also protested against the incitement that preceded the murder. Protest groups have sounded the alarm in recent weeks over threats and violence against demonstrators, with several people being indicted for allegedly assaulting protesters.

    Several thousands joined the main protest in Jerusalem’s Zion Square, near Netanyahu’s official residence, with the crowd marching to Balfour Street, where the residence is located.

    Demonstrators then marched around the city, occasionally clashing with police forces. According to police, six protesters had been arrested.

    Witnesses at Zion Square told Haaretz that a protester was assaulted by a police officer and was wounded in the head. Itay Sibel, who witnessed the altercation, said that the protester intervened when plainclothes officers attempted to arrest another demonstrator, and was then kicked in the head by one of the officers.

    The protester fell to the ground, hit his head and was evacuated to receive medical treatment at Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Other protesters have also said they witnessed undercover police officers forcefully subdue demonstrators who they perceived to be as the ones leading the marches.

    Meanwhile, more than 1,000 protesters gathered at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, with a separate march of hundreds of demonstrators that set off from Habima Square passing through the square and drawing followers.

    In Caesarea, some 300 protesters gathered at the entrance to the street where Netanyahu’s private residence is located. Smaller protests were also taking place at traffic junctions and city squares throughout the country, with hundreds of people spread out on various bridges overlooking the Ayalon Highway that passes through Tel Aviv.

    A protester in Ramat Gan was pepper sprayed by someone passing by on a scooter and received medical treatment at the scene. “We were standing at a traffic island, there were four of us, and then a few teenagers with hoodies on electric scooters passed by and sprayed right at us,” said the man’s girlfriend. “I saw a cloud of mist, but it hit him directly in the face. They covered themselves up really well so we couldn’t identify them.” Police said they have opened an investigation of the incident.

    A protester at a traffic junction in Hod Hasharon told Haaretz that he had witnessed a violent assault of a demonstrator. According to the witness, a car stopped next to protesters and two men cursed at and beat one of them. “They got into the car and fled,” he said. “Our guy took some serious blows and his megaphone was broken. I realized he was on his way to the emergency room.”

    Police said it had detained two suspects in the attack, and that the protester who was attacked sought medical treatment independently after suffering light wounds.

    At the Caesarea protest, Yaniv Sagee, executive of the Center for a Shared Society at Givat Haviva NGO, said: “Today, hatred and incitement are raging again, and contrary to what you said, Bibi, you are not the address – but rather us. But we did not gather to cry, but to inspire hope. We will prevent the collapse of this country."

    Ahead of the protest, leaders of Crime Minister, among the main groups instrumental in the demonstrations, demanded that the commander of the police’s Jerusalem District instruct officers to work to keep tensions low, following clashes at last week’s protests and at previous ones.

    Meanwhile, police said four youths had vandalized booths belonging to the Peace Now organization at Zion Square, where the Jerusalem protest was held, and that one of them was detained.

    Police also said they had arrested three demonstrators in the afternoon, as they tried to walk on the highway with a setpiece shaped like a submarine and refused to listen to police orders.

    When asked, the officers said the three were arrested for conduct likely to disturb public order and for conspiracy to carry out a misdemeanor. The three have since been released.

    Several thousands protested throughout the country on Thursday, the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Rabin (according to the Hebrew calendar).

    In his speech at the special Knesset session marking 25 years since Rabin’s assassination on Thursday, Netanyahu referred to the protest movement, comparing it to incitement that preceded the killing. “Twenty-five years after Rabin’s assassination, incitement to murder the prime minister and his family persists and no one says a word,” Netanyahu said.


  • 18e semaine des rassemblements anti-Netanyahu dans tout le pays
    25 octobre 2020 - 09:29 | The Times of Israël

    Des milliers d’Israéliens se sont rassemblés, samedi soir, à Jérusalem et à Tel Aviv, mais aussi aux carrefours et sur les ponts de tout le pays lors du dernier mouvement de protestation massif contre le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu et son gouvernement.

    C’est le dix-huitième week-end de rassemblements appelant Netanyahu à démissionner en raison de son procès pour corruption et de sa prise en charge de la pandémie de coronavirus.

    Des manifestations ont eu lieu aux abords de la résidence officielle de Netanyahu à Jérusalem, sur la place Rabin de Tel Aviv et à proximité de l’habitation privée de Netanyahu, à Césarée.

    Noga Tarnopolsky

    A pro-Netanyahu group at he Jerusalem demo shout “You’ll follow Rabin’s road to hell!” & “Leftists are traitors!” (video @SuleimanMas1)


  • Anti-Netanyahu protests resume in Jerusalem, across Israel, in shadow of right-wing violence
    Bar Peleg, Noa Shpigel, Nir Hasson, Josh Breiner | Oct. 17, 2020 | 10:52 PM - Haaretz.com

    Demonstrators across Israel report pepper spray attacks, small explosives, and verbal abuse as protests return to Balfour Street and continue throughout the country after emergency order limiting them expires

    Protests renewed in Jerusalem Saturday after a two-week hiatus due to coronavirus restrictions, with 10,000 Israelis calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation, while thousands more protested across the country.

    Violent attacks on protesters were reported around the country. Protesters in Haifa, Jerusalem and Ramat Gan were sprayed with pepper spray. Police have arrested seven suspects in the attacks.

    Police arrested nine protesters in Jerusalem after hundreds of people started marching toward the city center. About a thousand protesters managed to evade the police and march through central Jerusalem. Together, they are proceeding towards the market and from there to the Knesset.

    The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the custody of a 19-year-old who is suspected of assailing police officers and attacking protesters with a chair.

    The suspect, Netanel Aharon Haim from Jerusalem, was arrested by undercover police on Saturday for throwing bottles at protesters who were demonstrating on Balfour Street and later attacked officers who were filming him.

    A knife was also found in his pocket, which he said served him in his job at the shuk. Police investigation shows that during the protest Haim shouted tirades at the demonstrators and later hurled a bottle of beer at them.

    Earlier in the evening, a group of young protest leaders led a march through Jerusalem to Paris Square, adjacent to the prime minister’s official residence. A convoy of about 500 cars made the drive from central Israel’s Sharon region to Jerusalem.

    The Black Flags protest group reported that police checked each vehicle at a checkpoint near Abu Ghosh, on the main route to Jerusalem, causing traffic congestion and making it difficult for protesters to get to Balfour.

    Jerusalem’s Balfour street, where Netanyahu’s official residence lies, has been the focal point for ongoing anti-corruption protests. Last month, emergency coronavirus regulations banned travel beyond 1,000 meters from one’s home, effectively barring demonstrators from reaching Jerusalem. While the regulations were in effect, protesters demonstrated at over a thousand designated points across the country, allowing Israelis to demonstrate near their homes.

    Even though the one kilometer protest distance restrictions expired on Wednesday night, demonstrators continued protesting at 1,275 locations around the country. In Tel Aviv, over 1,000 protesters marched from Habima Square to Rabin Square before continuing northward through the city.

    Earlier in Tel Aviv, The Movement for Quality Government held a demonstration in which former minister Tzipi Livni told the hundreds who gathered there that “Netanyahu chose to be the man who destroyed democracy and broke apart Israeli society.”

    She added, “I couldn’t be silent anymore. This is enough.” She told protesters, “you are the best medicine against despair. You are the ones who are bringing back the shine to the eyes of those who lost it.” Addressing Netanyahu directly, she said, “Israel’s citizens are telling you – we’ve had it up to here. You are not the victim in this story and we won’t let you turn democracy into the victim. Israel is a state of law, and no man will be above the law, not even the prime minister.”

    Regarding the protests, Netanyahu said Saturday night that he is not “fighting a war against them.” He said that the government struck down the emergency regulations on Tuesday. “We’re not arguing with the right to protest, it’s clear. By the way, in other countries like Australia, they are.”

    Protesters across country report violence

    Following the demonstration at Habima Square in Tel Aviv, two small explosives were thrown at protesters. According to eyewitnesses, a group of about 20 boys on bicycles arrived at the scene and started verbally abusing the protesters before throwing the explosives.

    Mor, 23, identified 15 to 20 boys on electric bikes and scooters, who called the protesters “traitors” and “leftists”, before one of them threw something in their direction and immediately fled. “There were two powerful explosions,” she said, “luckily nobody was hurt.”

    In Ramat Gan, a couple was pepper sprayed at the end of the protest. One of the two victims, a woman in her 50s who is a resident of the Tel Aviv suburb, said that she was standing at the junction as she does every week. After an hour and a half of protesting, as the couple started home, a car stopped near them and the driver stuck his hand out the window, pepper sprayed them, and fled.

    She said that others came to their aid, and after they managed to regain their vision, another man stood close them on a motorcycle, cursing them and threatening to kill them. “A police officer went by seconds later, and they asked him for help, but he said that he would report it and just drove away.” Her partner said that he knew that there would be people who would react negatively, but that he expected that at least the police would do something.

    Police arrested three Kiryat Yam residents, all in their twenties, suspected of pepper spraying demonstrators in Haifa. A police statement said that a short while before 9 P.M., they received reports of people pepper spraying protesters at a number of sites throughout the city, and that evidence was found in the three mens’ cars linking them to the attacks.

    Police also confirmed reports of a pepper spray incident in Tel Aviv, in which a motorcycle courier with the Wolt delivery service pepper sprayed a 12-year-old girl who was there with her mother and brother, among others, at a protest.

    He was stopped shortly after by a police officer at the scene. The child who was attacked, Rona Gilat, told Army Radio journalist Nurit Kanti that the courier claimed he himself had been attacked, but Gilat’s mother Adi refuted the claim, saying that he was going at about 40 kilometers an hour, against the flow of traffic, making it impossible to attack him.

    Wolt released a statement saying that they are unfamiliar with the incident, but denounce the act of violence and will cooperate with police.

    On Tel Aviv’s Nordau Street, police arrested a 19-year-old suspect who sprayed an unknown substance at protesters, one of whom was injured by the attack and required medical care.

    Earlier in the evening, on Tel Aviv’s Kaufmann street, police arrested a 54-year-old man who cursed at demonstrators and punched one of them in the face. The protester did not require medical treatment.

    Police also reported that in the early evening, they received reports that a suspect pepper sprayed protesters standing on Jaffa’s Yefet Street from a vehicle. None were injured in the attack, and police identified the vehicle a short while later and took in two suspects, a 17- and 20-year-old from Bat Yam, for questioning.

    At a protest in the Jezreel Valley, a video on social media showed a man stopping his car at an intersection, exiting the vehicle, and cursing at a protester, reported to be a woman in her seventies.

    In the northern town of Kiryat Ata, police have opened an investigation after an unknown assailant threw a stone at protesters.

    In the run-up to Saturday night’s demonstrations, protest groups had called for an increased presence in two locations in Holon, which saw exceptional violence against demonstrators on Thursday night. Members of La Familia, the Beitar Jerusalem soccer fan club known for its far-right, anti-Arab ideology, shifted between the two main protest sites in the Tel Aviv suburb in a manner that appeared to have been planned in advance.

    Some 200 protesters gathered at each of the city’s two main protest sites. About 20 pro-Netanyahu counter-protesters also arrived, with a police force separating the groups. Border Police, special forces and other police units arrived at the Holon protest sites on Saturday evening ahead of the protest.

    Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, speaking from Balfour Street, said of the attacks by La Familia in Holon that “I warned time and time again that Netanyahu’s incitement will turn into violence in the streets. It was clear that it would happen.”

    Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg also said she would submit a request for an “urgent debate in the Knesset regarding violence against demonstrators... in order to stop this madness.”

    At a square in Hadera, eight pro-Netanyahu protesters carrying Likud flags stood next to about a dozen anti-corruption protesters, carrying black and Israeli flags. Three police officers supervised the protests but did not intervene, nor did they attempt to separate the two groups. The anti-corruption protesters said that they had been demonstrating at the square for a while, but the counter-protesters had begun doing so only recently.

    The Likud protesters, most of them teenagers and young adults, shouted pro-Netanyahu slogans at passing cars and cursed at the anti-Netanyahu activists next to them. They refused to be interviewed, and tried to distance Haaretz photographer Rami Shlush from the area by waving their flags at him.

    The Black Flags protest group released a statement saying that “The State of Israel has found itself in the largest health and economic crisis in its history for one reason alone: Benjamin Netanyahu. The defendant, instead of caring for his citizens, cares only about himself and his family.”

    “There is only one way to stop the failed lockdowns and encourage the economy – bring about the departure of Netanyahu, and that the prime minister of Israel will be a man or woman who will deal with the country and not with themselves,” the statement added.

    On Thursday night, at Holon’s Kugel Square, La Familia members sprayed pepper spray at demonstrators, while in the plaza outside the Mediatheque, they hit one protest activist, Sadi Ben-Shitrit, in front of his 8-year-old son and assaulted Haaretz photographer Tomer Appelbaum. If Appelbaum had not tried to separate the assailants and Ben Shitrit, the incident may have escalated. Two minors were later detained on suspicion of involvement in the assault.

    Also on Thursday night, videos on social media showed a police officer pepper spraying a protestor and then kicking a person who was on the ground at a demonstration in Haifa. Eyewitnesses said that “people were banging on [a police] vehicle, and then a police officer arrived and began to spray people with pepper spray indiscriminately, and people began to flee… it’s true that they were provoking the police, but provocation does not warrant such a lack of restraint.”


  • Des dizaines de milliers de manifestants contre Netanyahu
    Les rassemblements de ce samedi soir dans tout le pays pourraient être les plus importants à ce jour
    Par Aaron Boxerman et Times of Israel Staff | 11 oct 2020, 12:24

    Des dizaines de milliers d’Israéliens ont manifesté contre le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu dans plus de 1 000 rassemblements respectant la distanciation sociale dans tout le pays samedi soir – le quatrième soirée de ce type depuis que le gouvernement a institué une interdiction des manifestations de masse dans le cadre du confinement national dû au coronavirus.

    Des affrontements ont été signalés à Tel Aviv entre les manifestants et la police alors que les autorités tentaient d’empêcher les militants de défiler dans les rues. La police a déclaré avoir arrêté huit manifestants à Tel Aviv et à Jérusalem.

    Les rassemblements de ce samedi soir auraient attiré les foules les plus importantes après des mois de manifestations appelant à la démission de Netanyahu pour ses accusations de corruption et sa mauvaise gestion présumée de la pandémie. (...)


    • ’You messed with the wrong generation’: Tens of thousands march against Netanyahu across Israel
      Noa Shpigel, Bar Peleg, Josh Breiner | Oct. 11, 2020 | 9:21 AM | 2

      Recent demonstrations have been characterized by violent incidents against protesters ■ Police disseminate fake news on protesters arming themselves ■ Four arrested in Tel Aviv and later released under minimal restrictions

      Tens of thousands of Israelis protested across the country in hundreds of locations on Saturday night against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the extension of “special emergency” measures, which allow the government to limit demonstrations as part of efforts to combat the coronavirus.

      Since the legislation curbing protests went into effect, demonstrators have regularly gathered within their one kilometer, in accordance with the coronavirus lockdown. These have continued even despite reports of police violence directed at protesters and arrests.

      Hundreds gathered at various junctions in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Pardes Hannah, where a protester was attacked last week. Dozens more were scattered along highways and bridges all over the country. In various cities people formed “human chains,” in compliance with social distance guidelines.

      One protester was arrested after undercover cops started pulling him while he was broadcasting a live video on Facebook. He tried to get away, not realizing they were police. (...)

    • Israel police quote fake post claiming protesters called to use tear gas against them
      Oct. 11, 2020 - Haaretz.com

      The Israel police claimed on Saturday that anti-Netanyahu protesters were calling to use tear gas against the police at the demonstrations, basing their information on a false Facebook post shared by right-wing activists.

  • Netanyahu tried to stifle dissent. He got one of Israel’s largest protests Nir Hasson | Oct. 4, 2020 | 11:04 AM | Haaretz.com

    The smaller protests forced by coronavirus restrictions expose demonstrators to more violence, increasing fears of a political murder

    The usual protesters near the prime minister’s official Balfour Street residence in Jerusalem noticed something different – the disappearance of the prime minister’s convoy. The loud and aggressive convoy is a permanent part of the landscape, at least twice a day. But last week, nobody remembered seeing it, from either the main entrance on Gaza Road or the secondary entrance from Smolenskin Street. Maybe the Shin Bet security service has found another way in, and maybe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t have time to go home or found himself a place to rest elsewhere.

    Either way, there’s a feeling among the protesters that the demonstrations are getting to Netanyahu and putting his family under strain. There’s no other explanation for the great pressure Netanyahu is bringing to bear to place them outside the boundaries of allowed activities during the lockdown. His victory in the cabinet and the Knesset appeared pyrrhic on Saturday.

    The picture of his victory was to have shown Paris Square, near his residence, empty of protesters on Saturday night. The square was indeed relatively empty, but still, more than 200 protesters gathered. And the thousands did not remain at home, either. On the contrary, it seemed that the core of young people who usually come to Balfour Street gathered in Tel Aviv.

    The long protest, in which the police arrested 38 people and handed out hundreds of tickets, shows that their determination has not weakened at all. The opposite is true. As in the case of the arrest of protest leader Amir Haskel, the use of water cannons and false arrests, this time too, it seems that the attempt to suppress the protests was like dousing a fire with gasoline.

    In addition to the demonstration in Tel Aviv, one of the largest protests in the country’s history took place on Saturday night. Hundreds – apparently more than a thousand – demonstrations of between dozens and a few hundred people were held throughout the country. The fact that the government prohibited people from traveling more than a kilometer from their homes solved the dilemma for many people as to whether to travel to Jerusalem to join the protest. They simply walked out of the house and protested at the nearest junction. Children, old people and families stood at almost every square and every junction in cities and main roads and opposite the homes of ministers and lawmakers.

    The protests were sparked by the sense of emergency in light of the ban on demonstrations, and a feeling of frustration over the ongoing failure of the government in dealing with the pandemic. If someone hoped that the lockdown and the bans would snuff out the protest, they had a disappointing Saturday night.

    Unfortunately, the small and scattered demonstrations are turning protesters into easier prey as far as Netanyahu supporters are concerned. Dozens of reports of violence, cursing, spitting and threats against the protesters flowed throughout the evening. Netanya Ginzburg, 81, who was attacked by a Netanyahu supporter at the a junction in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood and fell, recalled the protest in which peace activist Emil Grunzweig was killed in 1983 and said she was afraid it would happen again. Her fear is very justified.

    Israel protestCoronavirusIsrael policeBenjamin Netanyahu

    Noga Tarnopolsky
    @NTarnopolsky. 12:39 AM · 4 oct. 2020

    Tel Aviv police commander claims to be completely unaware of any violence directed by police against protesters, or of police impeding reporters’ work, yet decries violence on the part of protesters, who he says threw eggs at cops. Really.

    Noga Tarnopolsky
    @NTarnopolsky 9:08 PM · 3 oct. 2020

    More than 2,000 are marching through the heart of Tel Aviv calling for ’Justice for Solomon; Justice for Iyad.’
    “It would be very difficult to stop this march,” @bar_peleg
    reports, “and maybe that’s why the police are not around.”


  • Deploy the West Bank brigade to the protests. Let Israelis meet their army
    Gideon Levy | Sep. 30, 2020 | 10:33 PM | Haaretz.com

    The soft souls of Israel Defense Forces soldiers are about to be corrupted: They’ve been sent to disperse a demonstration and to stand alongside police officers at roadblocks. At a roadblock in Jerusalem, a paratrooper has already been insulted by a demonstrator; where will this shame lead?

    In response, Chief of General Staff Aviv Kochavi, who is meticulous about preserving the purity of his soldiers, ordered them back to their bases immediately. “This is awful,” said protest activist Giora Inbar, a brigadier general in the reserves. “Once they sent paratroopers to Jerusalem to rebuff the enemy; yesterday they positioned armed paratroopers to push back demonstrators who had gone to Jerusalem to defend democracy.”

    According to Inbar, between the “liberation” of Jerusalem in 1967 and the dispersal of the “democracy demonstration” on Balfour Street in 2020, the paratroopers were a local branch of the Salvation Army. They fed the elderly, helped the poor and trained by parachuting at the beach. With all due respect to Mr. Inbar, this is a rose-colored misrepresentation. The paratroopers who were brought to Jerusalem this week were doing exactly what they’ve been doing most of the past 53 years, only less brutally, of course.

    From Ammunition Hill to Paris Square, this is what they’ve been doing. Forcefully dispersing protests and standing at roadblocks and suffocating a people. A significant part of what the paratroopers and all the other field corps have been doing in the past several decades is policing and control, just like now in Jerusalem. That may not sound or look nice, and it is certainly far from being heroic – compare that teary paratrooper from the Western Wall to the paratrooper at a checkpoint – but it’s the same red beret, that should have been hidden in shame long ago. That’s the routine of the police and the occupation army, the Israel Defense Forces. Every night it raids homes and drags people out of their beds, especially for their political activity, another disgraceful and illegal action. Once every few years they conduct criminal operations in Gaza or Lebanon that are hard to call wars, since there is no army opposing them. Even when they are guarding settlers in patently illegal outposts and settlements, they are actively participating in the State of Israel’s biggest political game, taking a clear and unequivocal political stand.

    The IDF, as subcontractor for the occupation, is one of the most politicized armies in the world. There are few like it. Therefore, we ask the defense minister, the chief of general staff, and Brig.-Gen. Inbar – spare us your self-righteousness and hypocritical eye-rolling. The activities at Balfour Street are the most natural and necessary continuation of the paratroopers’ activity at the Beka’ot checkpoint and Dheisheh refugee camp. No one is as skilled as they are at checkpoints, and no one is more experienced in dispersing demonstrations with force. Ask any Palestinian. It’s true that they are, for now, using kid gloves in west Jerusalem, in contrast to the way they were trained to operate in the territories. Perhaps that’s why the Paratroopers Brigade, Kochavi and Defense Minister Benny Gantz want to keep them away from the city, lest their skills get rusty. After all, on Balfour Street we’re talking about fellow Jews, Israeli citizens, human beings.

    But the IDF has even better trained forces than the paratroopers, whose glory is somewhat muted. Troops of the Kfir Brigade, the infantry battalions deployed in the West bank, are experts in handling checkpoints and demonstrations. Perhaps it would be better to move them to Balfour Street, to replace those of the red beret.

    The Border Police wouldn’t do a bad job, either. Simply set the border policemen free, and they will abuse the demonstrators, steal from them and even shoot helpless people with autism. Those who did this in a rubbish depot in East Jerusalem can easily do the same in the western part of the city, after a short adjustment period. The self-righteous fear that the people’s army will become politicized and the moral army will turn into guardians of the regime. No need to worry; the IDF has been those things for a while.

    Perhaps there is some positive aspect to all this: The people will finally get to know its army and how it works. Send the Kfir Brigade to Balfour Street and Israelis will be shocked. That’s another reason why Kochavi and Gantz want to keep the army off of the streets; so we won’t see what it really does and how its soldiers routinely treat human beings.

    Charles Enderlin
    @Charles1045. 1:39 AM · 2 oct. 2020·

    Gaz lacrymogène et policiers à cheval à Tel Aviv hier soir pour disperser la manif anti Netanyahu. La prochaine fois balles caoutchoutées ? Et ensuite ?



  • Israel passes law limiting protests under lockdown
    Haaretz.com | Jonathan Lis, Nir Hasson, Bar Peleg, Yaniv Kubovich | Sep. 30, 2020 | 8:13 AM

    Along with the legislation barring protesters from traveling more than a kilometer from their homes to attend a demonstration, a ’special state of emergency’ was declared

    The Knesset passed an amendment to the government’s coronavirus law early Wednesday morning that would bar protesters from traveling more than a kilometer (0.6 miles) from their homes to attend a demonstration.

    The legislation comes after a compromise was struck between Likud and Kahol Lavan regarding the stringency of the new measures, with Netanyahu watering down his initial proposal from Friday in exchange for limiting protests.

    Along with the law, a “special state of emergency” was declared, which the ministerial cabinet will need to ratify three times each week. The declaration and its extension will be brought to the constitution committee, which will be able to overturn the state of emergency retroactively.

    A special state of emergency does not allow the government to completely ban prayer, protests or religious ceremonies, but will be able to limit the number of participants in such gatherings. In addition, it will allow the government to limit protesters from demonstrating beyond the designated radius from their home, at the moment set to one kilometer (0.6 miles).

    On Tuesday night, the Israeli military also decided not to place more soldiers at police checkpoints in order to help enforce the lockdown in Jerusalem.

    Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that placing troops at police checkpoints near demonstrations is a “mistake that has already been addressed and will not be repeated.”

    Earlier on Tuesday, activists who were traveling to the Knesset to protest against an amendment that would bar demonstrations further than a kilometer from their home documented verbal altercations with soldiers who were stationed near the parliament, delaying some of the protesters.

    Gantz urged to leave the Israeli army and police out of the political debate and vehemently condemned any “attempt to attack soldiers and officers in the line of duty.”

    Eyewitnesses indicated that the police were the ones who actually came into contact with the protesters, but the very placement of the soldiers at the checkpoints provoked criticism.

    “The government sets the policy,” Gantz said. The army’s spokesperson’s unit also released a statement saying that soldiers “are not authorized to to perform any kind of enforcement on civilian population.”

    On Monday, demonstrators gathered outside Gantz’s home, and those of fellow Kahol Lavan members Gabi Ashkenazi and Avi Nissenkorn, as well as outside the home of Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.

    During the Knesset debates on Tuesday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside to oppose the legislation, three of whom were arrested by Israel Police.

    Protesters outside the Knesset termed the bill “an anti-democratic law serving Netanyahu.” Many of them arrived in a protest convoy, which caused significant traffic in Jerusalem. Some clashed with police, who had earlier taken down a protest sign hung on the gates of the nearby Finance Ministry office.

    One of the three people placed under arrest, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Assaf Agmon, a leader of the “En Matzav” ("No way") protest group, said he was subjected to violence. “We came to demonstrate against the possibility that a law would be enacted that would no longer allow demonstrations in the State of Israel,” he told Haaretz. “This is the last step before we fall into a completely fascist state.”

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party had previously demanded significant additional restrictions to the coronavirus emergency legislation, which Knesset failed to ratify on Friday, which included the prohibition of all demonstrations across the country to curb the spike in coronavirus infections.

    After failing to pass the bill through Knesset, Netanyahu announced and then retracted a plan to halt demonstrations through emergency regulations, a move that Kahol Lavan vetoed and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit disqualified on legal grounds.

    On Monday night, a Likud source said the party was considering retracting four proposals for more stringent restrictions, so that Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan would lend its support to new restrictions, which would include curbing protests.

    The government has sought to limit the distance protesters can demonstrate to within one kilometer from their homes, a restriction which the previous version of the law, passed in July, specifically prohibited. Following the failure of the legislation to pass, protests were held Saturday night, as they have been for the past several months.

    At noon on Tuesday, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the bill.

    The constitution committee rejected an objection by Yesh Atid lawmaker Yoav Segalovitz, calling to allow protest convoys. Four other objections, submitted by Likud lawmakers, together with Ayelet Shaked from right-wing party Yamina, were also rejected; they all related to giving the government the power to impose restrictions on protest without having to declare a state of emergency. The committee deemed that these objections should be considered together, and be brought to a separate vote, against the opinion of the Knesset’s legal adviser.


  • Des milliers de personnes manifestent contre Netanyahu à Jérusalem et Tel Aviv
    Par Times of Israel Staff et Aaron Boxerman 27 septembre 2020 13:18

    Des milliers de personnes ont pris part au mouvement de protestation anti-Benjamin Netanyahu, samedi, dans tout le pays, mais aussi sur Internet. Les plus grands rassemblements ont eu lieu à Jérusalem, Tel Aviv et Césarée.

    Cinq manifestants ont été arrêtés à Jérusalem au cours du regroupement, qui a été l’un des plus violents de ces dernières semaines. La police et les participants se sont affrontés alors que les agents s’efforçaient de faire respecter les restrictions de distanciation sociale. Les manifestants ont dénoncé un usage excessif de la force.

    Ces regroupements ont eu lieu malgré le confinement national dû au coronavirus, mais conformément toutefois à ses réglementations actuellement encore en vigueur – les députés israéliens ayant échoué, vendredi, à faire approuver une législation qui aurait sévèrement restreint les manifestations et la prière publique. (...)

    #Israelmanif #Israelmanifs

  • Netanyahu calls to curb protests against him under coronavirus restrictions
    Jonathan Lis, Ido Efrati, Noa Landau | Sep. 22, 2020 | 8:38 PM |

    As coronavirus cabinet mulls intensifying lockdown restrictions, protests and prayer services become a central point of contention

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the “farce” of anti-government protests calling for his resignation must be curbed under the coronavirus restrictions.

    Israel’s coronavirus cabinet met Tuesday to discuss intensifying lockdown restrictions amid a spike in infections and mortality and the increasing burden on hospitals.

    Discussions were adjourned without a decision. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi offered to hold a meeting on Tuesday evening with representatives of the Attorney General, the police and the Health Ministry to clarify restrictions on prayers and protests. Their recommendations will be heard when the cabinet reconvenes on Wednesday morning at 11:30 A.M. Israel time (4:30 A.M. EDT).

    “For a long time I’ve avoided weighing in on the matter, but after I’ve heard experts claiming that gatherings are a huge threat to public health, it is my obligation to speak about it. The entire public is obligated to abide by the regulations and only a group of protesters is exempt,” Netanyahu said. “You can only visit the Western Wall if you live within a kilometer of it, but people can come to Balfour from all over the country. At the Western Wall people can only pray in groups of twenty, but at the protests everything is permitted. This farce must stop!”

    “There must be one law for prayers and protests and all forms of gatherings. Otherwise the public won’t listen to the guidelines and the rate of infection will soar to threatening proportions,” Netanyahu said.

    Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn of Kahol Lavan said, “We must adjust the protests to the demands of the lockdown. But restrictions must be decided by experts and not by the politicians who are the subject of the protests."

    "We will support giving police the authority to enforce the restrictions at the protests.” Nissenkorn added, “however, in a democratic country governments do not forbid protests against them.”

    Netanyahu supporters have not been the only ones calling for protesters to stay home however. Ofer Shelah, a veteran member of opposition party Yesh Atid, who is currently staging a bid for its leadership, called on those hoping to unseat Netanyahu to “stop until the end of the lockdown, continue in other ways.”

    “There is nothing more just than a protest against a corrupt and failed prime minister. And there is nothing more justified than stopping the mass demonstrations against him at this critical moment,” Shelah said on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

    COVID-19 czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu presented cabinet ministers with his plan to reduce prayer activity in synagogues after an assessment by health professionals.

    Gamzu’s plan drew ire from Interior Minister Arye Dery, who chairs the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. “I cannot understand why demonstrations are a yes and prayers are a no,” Dery said. “Prayer is important not only for the ultra-Orthodox, but also for the religious, the conservatives and the secular. It is a sacred value,” Dery said.

    Dery threatened to resign over the matter. “We live in a Jewish and democratic state. From my perspective it is a Jewish state first and foremost. If we cannot hold prayers in synagogues and the protests continue, I don’t think we’re talking about a Jewish state anymore and I cannot stay at my post,” Dery said.

    The Black Flag movement, which is among the organizers of the anti-Netanyahu protests, also said last week that its activists would stop attending the protests in Jerusalem, and instead focus on coming out in multiple locations throughout the country. But it blasted the prime minister’s remarks on Tuesday evening: “The destroyer of the country Netanyahu is the reason that Israel is under lockdown. He’s busy with silly flights and managing his trial and not with the coronavirus!"

    “This is an order, for everyone who wants to save the nation,” the statement added. "Come to the bridges, intersections, and in convoys on Thursday and Saturday in order to fight the defendant who is destroying the nation.”

    #Israelmanif #Israelmanifs

    • Coronavirus Israel live : Cabinet discusses further lockdown restrictions
      Haaretz | Sep. 22, 2020 | 8:59 PM

      Two Israeli hospitals turn away virus patients due to full wards ■ Netanyahu aides violate post-D.C. trip coronavirus quarantine order ■ New guidelines allow protests in groups of 20 during lockdown

      Israel, the West Bank and Gaza are dealing with a renewed coronavirus outbreak, leading to proposals and measures intended to curb its spread and mitigate the economic ramifications of the crisis by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

      Israel currently has 51,338 active cases; 1,273 people have died. In the West Bank, there are 11,425 active cases and 291 deaths, and in Gaza 1,825 active cases and 17 deaths. (...)

      Charles Enderlin

      deux grands hôpitaux israéliens avec un taux d’occupation à plus de 100% refusent les nouveaux malades de Covid 19. Assouta à Ashdod et Shaarei Tzedek à Jérusalem

      Noga Tarnopolsky

      West Jerusalem hospitals are so overrun that the Health Min is asking East Jerusalem hospitals to admit their patients. But east Jerusalemite corona patients hospitalized in west Jerusalem are adamantly refusing to be transferred to the east of the city.

    • Flouting quarantine, Netanyahu aides reveal industry of lies
      Yossi Verter | Sep. 22, 2020 | 8:20 AM - Haaretz.com

      The praiseworthy alertness of demonstrator Yoav Glasner, who recognized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s social media adviser, Topaz Luk, and Netanyahu family spokesman Ofer Golan, revealed an astounding sight Sunday night, after the Rosh Hashanah holiday ended. These two men so dear to Netanyahu and his wife, one of whom has already been questioned by police on suspicion of witness-tampering, were caught red-handed in a scene which, had it not been so disturbing and outrageous, could have been genuinely comic.

      Luk, using a professional camera, was filming the protesters who had arrived – purely by chance – at the same moment that he and Golan were on the scene; Luk then began spouting delusional coronavirus-denial conspiracy theories. Golan was assisting him. Upon being identified, both men, wearing dark caps that merely magnified the farce, fled like frightened ducks from the cellphone of Glasner, who chased after them.

      If we had previously thought Netanyahu was the local version of Richard Nixon, not just in his deceitfulness but also in his methods, we discovered that our local incompetence is hardly comparable to the American president’s “plumbers.” Had the break-in at the Watergate Hotel been assigned to the two heroes of our story, they would have been caught even before they arrived, driving in the wrong lane.

      What were the two geniuses thinking? That nobody in that politically savvy crowd would recognize them? Luk, after all, has been interviewed often of late. (And what ever happened to Jonathan Urich?)

      Luk, we should also mention, was supposed to be in quarantine. The Prime Minister’s Office, of course, admits nothing. A response by Likud said the man had gone there to take a coronavirus test. But of course – with a camera, in the middle of a demonstration, shortly before midnight, and far from his home.

      Later, Netanyahu, the coronavirus screw-up in chief, sent a hypocritical, self-righteous response to the media: “Suddenly, everyone’s upset over one man.” Let’s just remind him that for all the demonstrations that have taken place to date outside his official residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street, not one single quarantine violator has ever been found among the protesters.

      All the problems have emerged from him and his circle – violations, lies, incitement, smears, blood libels. The Pandora’s box in the prime minister’s residence, in the spirit and on the orders of his son, is a far greater source of danger to the public’s health than the virus. Modern medicine will never find a vaccine for that.

      Anyone who violates quarantine is subject to a fine, as Netanyahu graciously admitted. Now, we have to wait and see whether an investigation is opened against Luk and whether he’s fined 5,000 shekels ($1,400). Given the law enforcement agencies’ current weakness in the face of the Balfour mafia, don’t count on it.

      Had the two not been discovered and fled for their lives, the web would have been flooded with footage of the “coronavirus-denying” demonstrators. Netanyahu’s pet journalists and fans would have tweeted voraciously. Likud MK Osnat Mark would have screamed her lungs out in some television studio. Amir Ohana, the Netanyahu security minister, would have urged police to investigate. And more, similar garbage.

      The entire incident shone a spotlight on the industry of lies, deceit and fraud that has sheltered under Netanyahu’s wings: fraudulent videos, staged incidents, bots and fake profiles that flood the web. When it succeeds, the foot soldiers are sent out to echo and condemn. When it doesn’t, well, it’s not so terrible; we’ll lie brazenly in response and move on.

      For some reason, this reminded me of the (false) accusation that Netanyahu – who had no qualms about lies and filth even back in the mid-1990s – clearly aimed at David Levy regarding a tape that implicated Netanyahu in an adulterous affair. Netanyahu spoke of “a senior Likud official surrounded by criminals.” Well, who is the senior official and who are the criminals here?

      Then on Monday, Noa Landau reported on Haaretz’s website that Netanyahu’s diplomatic adviser, Reuven Azar, who also serves as deputy national security adviser, was caught violating quarantine for the second time (the first having been back in Washington). He turns out to be a recidivist, a serial coronavirus violator. Referring to people like that, we used to say “either he’s stupid or he’s evil.”

      The first time, he wasn’t punished, because the violation occurred abroad. Let’s see what excuse they use this time.

      Just as Netanyahu himself proved on seder night, when he violated the coronavirus rules to host his son Avner, there’s nothing like a personal example. When this is what the leader is like, that’s what his inner circle is like. And when that’s what his inner circle is like, it’s unsurprising that half the country thinks it’s fine when they cheat on the lockdown rules and cause further rises in the curves of all our woes.