Reporter's Notebook: Haredim protest speech, wearing yellow stars
Right-wing audience at Bar-Ilan applauds Palestinian state.
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 15, 2009 00:22
A small group of haredi protesters wearing yellow stars demonstrated outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech at Bar-Ilan University on Sunday night.
The protesters, who included small children, hoisted signs of US President Barack Obama in a keffiyeh. The slogans on the signs emphasized the president's middle name, Hussein, and warned of the dangers of a Palestinian state.
National Union MKs also protested, calling for Netanyahu to remember that he was elected by Israelis and not appointed by Obama.
There were also left-wing demonstrators from Peace Now and American left-wing groups.
Netanyahu received applause 15 times from the right-wing audience at Bar-Ilan University on Sunday night, including when he called for the formation of a Palestinian state.
The crowd included a mix of many crocheted-kippa wearers and ambassadors from around the world. There were also reporters there broadcasting to international audiences.
Netanyahu initially invited the entire Likud faction and all the government ministers to attend the speech, but due to the limited space in the room, he told the MKs that they did not have to come.
The speech was attended by ministers Yaakov Neeman and Michael Eitan, deputy ministers Gila Gamliel and Ayoub Kara, Likud MK Danny Danon and Labor faction chairman Daniel Ben-Simon.