Police have opened an investigation into an attack on MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Hadash-Ta’al joint list, by a man at a protest against Israel’s new far-right government on Saturday at Tel-Aviv. On Sunday evening, police arrested a 42-year-old resident of Kibbutz Givat Brenner suspected of the attack. The suspect will be questioned, police said.
Hadash-Ta’al MK Ayman Odeh (first on right) was elected last week chair of the Science and Technology Committee of the Knesset (Photo: Knesset)
Odeh delivered a speech at the rally and after he spoke, he was slapped by the suspect. In his remarks to the crowd earlier in the night, Odeh had called for unity, saying “With this historic crisis there is also a huge and historic opportunity… The fascists’ only chance is to separate us, and we won’t let them.”
“Look how much power there is here. This is only the nucleus; this is only the beginning,” he continued, as protesters chanted “Bibi doesn’t want democracy” and “[Aryeh] Dery doesn’t want democracy!” Odeh was physically attacked after finishing his speech in by one of the demonstrators who was present. Odeh tweeted about the incident, “After my speech tonight against fascism, I was verbally assaulted by a group of fascist protesters.”
In a first major rally against the new Netanyahu government, tens of thousands of people turned out Saturday night to protest in Tel Aviv against the far-right government, after Justice Minister Yariv Levin unveiled plans to overhaul Israel’s judicial system earlier this week.
The protesters gathered for the rally at the coastal city’s Habima Square and most of the demonstrators, affiliated with Standing Together, Hadash, Peace Now, Combatants for Peace and others human rights groups marched toward the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and held a rally there. Others held a torchlight march through the streets of the city.
A number of MKs attended the rally, among them Odeh, Ofer Cassif (Hadash), Merav Michaeli, Naama Lazimi and Gilad Kariv from the Labor party, alongside former minister Tzipi Livni and former lawmakers Dov Khenin (Hadash), Zehava Galon (Meretz) and Mossi Ras (Meretz).