Anti-Corruption Protesters at Weekly Rally: “Jail Netanyahu!”

Two thousand protesters demonstrated on Saturday evening, September 2, near Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s home in Petah Tikva in the latest weekly protest calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be indicted for corruption. The protesters chanted rhyming slogans in Hebrew against the prime minister and called for his imprisonment. The protesters carried signs that read: “Bibi and Sara, your place is in Caesarea,” “Mandelblit it’s time to decide,” “Bibi go home,” “Our democracy is sinking.” One sign depicted  Mandelblit as a rabbit.

The protests have long criticized the attorney general for his purported foot dragging in the corruption investigations against Netanyahu and have called for the AG’s resignation. This week, protestors added signs condemning Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) for not coming out publicly against the prime minister and his wife Sara.

Saturday evening’s gathering was the second to take place since the Supreme Court ruled that demonstrations could continue with limited numbers following police interference with a Saturday night protest on August 19 in which they arrested two of its organizers. Last Saturday night’s demonstration was the 41st consecutive week protests have taken place in Petah Tikva.

Demonstrators in Afula, northern Israel, on Saturday night

Demonstrators in Afula, northern Israel, on Saturday night (Photo: Heder Matzav)

In addition, several hundred people  protested against Netanyahu’s alleged corruption at Paris Square, near the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, while in parallel demonstrations also took place in Tel Aviv, Nes Ziona, Rishon LeTzion, Rosh Pina and 13 other locations throughout the country with hundreds in attendance.

The demonstrations came days after Netanyahu said the weekly events were part of an “undemocratic effort to topple him at any cost.” At a Likud party rally on Wednesday, August 30, Netanyahu issued a seething attack on the Left and the media, accusing the press of playing up a pair of corruption investigations against him in an effort to end his premiership. “The fake news industry is at its peak, and the goal of the protests is to indict me at any cost,” he told the crowd of rowdy Likud supporters at a rally at Airport City near Ben Gurion Airport. “They [the media] cover enthusiastically [and] without end the left-wing protests every week,” he said.