Low turnout for protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv

“Israelis are not like Americans who will take to the streets by the millions.”

February 3, 2017 02:23
2 minute read.
PROTESTERS RALLY against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv last night.

PROTESTERS RALLY against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv last night.. (photo credit: LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI)

Only a few hundred or so protesters showed up in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Thursday night to call for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation amid the ongoing police investigations against him.

The protest, which had hoped to draw a few thousand protesters, saw people waving Israeli flags and holding signs reading “Bibi quit” and “For the Right and the Left, Bibi is a disaster.”

“We came here to call for the prime minister to go home,” Yehoshua Cohen, one of the organizers of the event, said to the crowd.

“We believe in democracy and that the government was elected fairly by citizens,” he continued. “But we also know that we can ask for accountability from our elected leaders.”

“We are not anyone’s subjects,” he said to a cheer of “Bibi go home” from the crowd.

Cohen emphasized that there was no political force behind the protest, which he said was organized and funded by concerned citizens.

He concluded by saying that the protests would continue “on streets and intersections” throughout the country until Netanyahu resigns from his post.

Galit, from Ramat Gan, told The Jerusalem Post that she was disappointed by the low turnout but hopeful that over time even small protests would make a difference.

“I wish there were more people here,” she said. “Israelis are not like Americans who will take to the streets by the millions.”

Galit said she had expected more people to turn out considering the severity of the allegations against Netanyahu.

“I think that there are a lot of people who are bitter about the situation but are not coming out to protest,” she said. “The champagne is flowing, the submarines are floating and here we are so few protesting.”

She explained that she had been to numerous protests on a weekly basis in the past with regards to the gas deal, noting that some of the protests were even smaller than the one in Tel Aviv.

“Still, after a while we spread the word and were able to make a difference,” she said. “I am hopeful that here too, over time we will have an impact and at the least these protests give backing to law enforcement officials to continue their work.”

“Still, I’m jealous of the Americans,” she quipped.

According to local news channels, Attorney- General Avichai Mandelblit is set to open a full criminal investigation against the prime minister, though details about the nature of the investigation are still unclear.

The prime minister has been question for his involvement in a number of affairs, including his discussions with Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes which allegedly involved a deal in which Netanyahu would pass a law forcing the free Israel Hayom to charge for its paper in exchange for better coverage of himself in Yediot – dubbed “Case 2000.”

He has also been questioned regarding “Case 1000” on suspicion of illegally receiving gifts from Israel and foreign businessmen worth hundreds of thousands of shekels.

Netanyahu has denied any allegations of wrongdoing and has repeatedly said: “There won’t be anything because there isn’t anything.”

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