Security concerns rendered Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman Simcha Rothman unable to attend a meeting with the Israel Bar Association to discuss the judicial reform on Thursday, he said in a statement.
Religious Zionist Party MK Rothman said that the Knesset officer had ordered him not to attend the Tel Aviv event in light of the protests and threats the police had learned of.
"Unfortunately, a small and violent group has taken over the Israeli left and is setting its agenda," said Rothman. "People who believe in democracy do not block a person's way to debate and present a position in a polite way. People who believe in democracy, believe in dialogue and not violence."
Bar Association chairman candidate Avraham Lalum told Maariv that "it is a shame that a small and unrepresentative part of the public is disrespectfully preventing an important discussion at the Bar Association."
Thousands of protesters had demonstrated in front of the association building. A message shared by protesters said that "Simcha Rothman, one of the architects of the dictatorship, is coming to the Bar Association," and that they should welcome him.
Other chairman candidates proposed that Rothman join the discussion through the Zoom video calling platform. Some members suggested that Labor MK Gilad Kariv, who was set to join Rothman in the discussion, leave the chamber and also take part through Zoom to create equal footing.
"If Simcha Rothman does not come to the meeting and is forced to participate in Zoom, it is impossible to hold a session in this format," said Attorney Eren Ben-Ari. "Gilad Kariv will be respected and would be on Zoom as well."
Rothman said that "We will continue and promote the values and positions for which we were elected, and will not surrender to a violent and extremist group."