Thousands of Israelis protest against Netanyahu, two meters apart

Thousands of Israelis protest against Netanyahu, two meters apart

The event gave a dramatic image of a manifestation in the time of the coronaviruses. Protesters waved Israeli flags and simple black flags to symbolize what they consider Netanyahu’s attacks on the country’s democratic systems. Wearing masks in accordance with the latest health directives, a protester held up a sign saying: “I will not be silent because my country has changed its face.” Distributed uniformly in the open space, the event revealed the full Rabin square, even if it can contain tens of thousands of people.

This week, Israel began to relax existing social restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But even within the strictest limits, demonstrations were still allowed as long as they respected government regulations.

Israelis demonstrate on Sunday in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

“They said there would be an exponential growth in the number of people with corona (virus),” said organizer Shikma Schwarzmann, “but the only thing that you really see growing exponentially is the number of people who are willing to stand up and protect our nation and our democracy. “

Speaking at the demonstration, MP Yair Lapid criticized Netanyahu and Speaker of Parliament Benny Gantz, until recently Lapid’s political partner in the blue and white party. Gantz broke up with Lapid almost a month ago when he agreed to serve under Netanyahu, reversing a promise that had been at the heart of the party campaign. The movement fractured blue and white, Lapid taking his faction into the opposition while Gantz pursued a unity government with Netanyahu.

“You are not fighting corruption from the inside. If you are inside, you are part of it,” said Lapid, in a not-so-subtle review of Gantz. “We are here to say that we will never give in. Too many good people have already surrendered.”

“This is how democracies die in the 21st century. They are not wiped out by the tanks that invade Parliament. They die from within because the good people were silent and the weak surrendered. exterior, everything looks exactly the same. Parliaments are in the same condition. location, the police group plays the same anthem, the leader has not changed. It looks the same, it sounds the same, but it is no longer a democracy. ”

People wearing protective masks participate in the Sunday demonstration.
Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List of Arab Parties, called for an alliance of Jewish and Arab parties to defeat Netanyahu. “We Arab citizens cannot make fundamental changes on our own, but without us it will never be possible,” Odeh said during the protest. “During this crisis, there is a real opportunity to build a democratic camp and a broad Arab-Jewish front for peace and democracy.”

So far, Gantz and Netanyahu have failed to agree on the terms of a new government. The last meeting between the two parties ended Monday morning with no apparent breakthrough.

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