Thousands gather in Tel Aviv for Black Flag protest against coalition
Despite the coronavirus outbreak encouraging social distancing, Tel Aviv police did not stop the demonstration, instead blocking several main streets to allow it to take place
By AARON REICH
Thousands of protestors took to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv for a Black Flag demonstration against the coalition deal signed between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, which they claim violates "the Basic Laws of the Sate of Israel," N12 reported.Despite the authorities encouraging social distancing due to the coronavirus outbreak, Tel Aviv police did not stop the demonstration. Instead, they blocked several main streets to allow it to take place and ensured the protestors did not violate the guidelines put in place for the pandemic.The coronavirus pandemic is considered to have been a major force behind the establishment of an emergency unity government between Likud and Blue and White. However, the Black Flag protestors argued that the coalition does nothing to help improve the lives of citizens during the crisis, but rather is only concerned with benefits and passing legislation that allows the government to remain in power."A coalition agreement that violates the Basic Laws of the Sate of Israel is not 'unity,'" said Shikma Schwartzan, one of the demonstration's organizers, N12 reported.She explained that in order to achieve unity, "You had to build a wall between the judicial system and a criminal defendant," referring to Netanyahu's trial for bribery.Calling on the Blue and White leader to act, she added: "Gantz... don't raise a hand against the justice system, and make sure there is one law for everyone.""They are using [the coronavirus] to establish their corrupt government," outgoing Meretz MK Esawi Frej said at the demonstration."They call for an emergency government, but their only emergency is their concern for themselves. And [during the coronavirus pandemic], they care very well for themselves at our expense."This demonstration is the latest of several that the Black Flag movement has held in the past month, which have the stated goal of preserving Israeli democracy by ensuring the ousting of "crime minister" Netanyahu.On April 16, hundreds of protestors gathered near Habima National Theater in Tel Aviv to speak out against Netanyahu, all while maintaining a distance of two meters from one another in accordance with the Health Ministry's guidelines. The protestors carried signs saying "coronavirus is used in service of dictatorship" and "we do not believe you anymore."Earlier, at the end of March, the movement hung black flags on symbolic sites across the country. This included the grave of the prime minister David Ben-Gurion as a well as a memorial dedicated to prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and several battle memorials.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.