Quarter Million Protesters Take to the Streets Across Israel

Quarter million protesters tale of the streets across Israel Satudary evening, in the seventh consecutive weekend of demonstrations against the far-right government, ahead of judicial reform bills being placed before the Knesset plenum on Monday. Organizers of the protest movement have declared Monday as a “National Day of Struggle”, which, for the second week in a row, will include a large rally outside the Knesset, as well as demonstrations in various cities and the shuttering of some businesses.

According to organizers, almost a quarter million Israeli joined the demonstrations across over 60 sites in Israel, including the almost 135,000 people in Tel Aviv who marched from Dizengoff Center to Kaplan Street. The central rally was again held in Tel Aviv and hundreds of protesters walked onto the Ayalon Highway, blocking the main throughway for an hour, while police forces reluctantly stood by.

Relatively smaller-scale rallies were held in Haifa, Netanya, Beersheba, Ramat Hasharon, Nes Ziona, Zichron Yaakov and Herzliya. Jerusalem held two protests against the government, with one at the city’s Liberty Bell Party attended by hundreds of right-wing Israelis who called on the coalition to heed President Isaac Herzog’s call to halt the legislative effort in order to negotiate on a compromise proposal that he had drafted.

MK Ofer Cassif with Hadash demonstrators and Anti-Occupation Bloc activists marching in Tel-Aviv with red and Palestinian flags, Saturday evening, February 18, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

On Friday was published a call signed by 200 urges Arab community to join mass protests: “We will be the first and main victims of this coup. It is our duty to be at the heart of campaign to repel it.” The Arab leaders, including Hadash mayors, former MKs and leading professionals, artists and professors, warned in the petition that if legal checks and balances are undermined, the minority community would likely be the first to be harmed.

Related: https://maki.org.il/en/?p=30840