Thousands protest new gov't coalition in Tel Aviv

The demonstration mainly targeted the incoming right-wing government coalition and especially party leaders Deri, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich.

 Demonstration against the incoming gov't in Tel Aviv, December 12 2022. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Demonstration against the incoming gov't in Tel Aviv, December 12 2022.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

A demonstration held by the Movement for the Quality of Government in Tel Aviv's Habima square was attended by thousands of protestors on Saturday evening, Ynet reported.

The demonstration mainly targeted the incoming right-wing government coalition and their legislative blitz to pass a slew of controversial laws, among them the “Deri Law” which would enable Shas chairman Arye Deri to serve as a minister despite his past conviction of tax offenses.

Prominent attendees

Prominent politicians attending the protest included former IDF chief of staff and politician Moshe (“Boogie”) Ya’alon and former IDF general and outgoing MK Yair Golan.

Head of the Movement for the Quality of Government Dr. Eliad Shraga held a keynote speech, saying: "They are about to change the DNA of the State of Israel forever and to turn it from a secular country, where there is freedom of worship, which means freedom of religion - and yes, also freedom from religion - into a religious, messianic, fundamentalist, Khomeinist country, where the orthodoxy is dictating the lifestyle to us, the secular. It sidelines different Jewish currents, absolutely sidelines Diaspora Jewry."

"Khomeinist country" is a reference to Iran where citizens have been protesting heavily against the Islamic regime. The protests were sparked by the killing of Mahsa Amini at the hand of the "morality police" after she was arrested for wearing her hijab wrong. Amini has become a symbol of the protests that seek to overcome the extremist religious regime.

Demonstration in Tel Aviv against new gov't. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)Demonstration in Tel Aviv against new gov't. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Shraga went on to say: "Sons of darkness, malicious people, convicted criminals and potential convicts...took over the government of Israel and these days are doing an aggressive and brutal conversion therapy to democracy in Israel...we will not give in to corruption and not to corrupted criminals."

"Sons of darkness, malicious people, convicted criminals and potential convicts...took over the government of Israel and these days are doing an aggressive and brutal conversion therapy to democracy in Israel...we will not give in to corruption and not to corrupted criminals."

Dr. Eliad Shraga

Alluding to Winston Churchill's famous speech during World War II, Shraga concluded: "We will fight in the sea and the ocean...and with increasing strength in the air. We will defend our liberal democratic island, no matter the cost! We will fight on the beaches, we will fight on the landing spots, we will fight on the fields and the streets, we will fight on the hills and never, never surrender. Together until victory!"

In his speech, Moshe Ya’alon criticized Netanyahu: "In the last five years...he [Netanyahu] started to sacrifice the interests of the state in many areas in order to save himself ... a huge shame."

Demonstrators carried signs with slogans criticizing the new coalition statements such as: "Government of gangsters," "Deri unworthy to be a minister," "Stop the corruption" and "The override clause will hurt you!".

One protester was seen carrying a sign showing a picture of Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu with the writing: "1995 murder of Rabin - 2022 murder of the democracy."