Massive Anti-government Protests in Mayor Cities Planned for Saturday Night

Anti-government protests planned for Saturday night are expected to be even larger than the demonstrations conducted last Saturday, in which an estimated 100,000 people took part. Far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also expressed outrage at the protests, accusing protesters of “incitement and intimidation” and of being “funded by foreign entities.”

Larger crowds than last week’s demonstration — which was beset by rain — will turn up this Saturday, following a clear weather forecast and a bombshell High Court ruling this week declaring Shas chief Aryeh Deri as unfit to be a government minister.

Hadash and Communist Party activists during the protest held in Tel-Aviv against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

Hadash and the Communist Party of Israel called on the public to take the streets in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba, Modi’in, Rosh Pina in the Northern Galilee and Ketura Junction in the Southern Arava.  The main protest in Tel Aviv will be divided, with one organizer, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, holding a rally at Habima Square for the second weekend in a row while other most radical organizers will demonstrate less than a kilometer away at the intersection of Kaplan and Begin streets. After skipping the twolast week’s events, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid said Wednesday he would attend this weekend, alongside other members of the opposition.

The Black Flag protest group said it would center its efforts on Kaplan Street and urged opposition politicians to show up. “Following the attack on the judicial system over Deri’s disqualification, and the calls from within the coalition to disobey the ruling, the organizers of the demonstration are calling on the heads of the opposition parties to announce that they will come to the mass demonstration and stand at the head of the protest march,” said Black Flags in a statement.

Student Protest, which describes itself as a nonpartisan group fighting for democracy, vowed it would also join the demonstrations. The group on Monday launched a one-hour coordinated strike at universities and colleges against the far-right government. “On Saturday night we will shake the country! We call on the entire student body, to youth in general, to join demonstrations and to fight together with us against this coup,” the groups said in a statement.

According to Kan news, the National Security and Justice Ministries are working on a new law that would allow the government to further restrict protests. The law will include measures such as requiring police permits for any protest including more than 100 people and allowing police officers to kick anyone out of a protest if “their presence could disrupt the peace” for three hours. If even one person is disorderly in the protest, police will be able to disband the entire protest. Police will also be able to heavily fine protesters if they “disobey police instructions” or do not agree to leave the area. The fines will range between NIS 1,500-5,000.