Stickers with the words “leftist traitors” were found pasted on the homes of two anti-Netanyahu protesters Monday, amid escalating protests against the Israeli prime minister.
The police are investigating the incident in the Tel Aviv suburb of Nes Tziona, as well as further stickers found at an intersection and a bus station in the area, which hosts weekly protests against the prime minister.
Meni Shani, 66, one of the protest organizers who had stickers stuck on his home, told Haaretz that the stickers were an intimidation tactic specifically targeting him.
“There’s a group of people, led by other residents, who are inflaming sentiments. Although they carry Likud flags, this is not something that characterizes their party,” Shani said.
Shani called the police, who came and took fingerprints. “Some see this as a threat, but I’m unmoved. It isn't a factor for us. We are protesting because we feel something bad is happening to the country,” he said.
- Hundreds of anti-Netanyahu protesters were attacked. These are some of their stories
- Around 30 arrested as thousands protest against Netanyahu in Jerusalem
- Court hears Netanyahu’s request to dismiss his corruption cases
His son also said he believed someone was following him as he left the house that evening. He said that when he got out of his car he saw two supporters of the prime minister who attend the weekly protests.
A fortnight ago, right-wing activists assaulted a protester, while Netanyahu supporters said they hoped those demonstrating against him would be torched last week. On Saturday, counter-protesters called for a "suicide bomber [to] reach Balfour.”
The stickers were also pasted on Ido Blum’s home in Nes Tziona, who said that “One of the neighbors came home and saw the stickers in various sizes pasted at the entrance to the building that read 'leftist traitors.' We have a flag that says ‘go’ [a popular anti-Netanyahu slogan] hanging on our balcony, so I imagine that’s what led them here.”
"I see signs saying 'leftist traitors' every week, but when they come to your home that’s crossing a line. The message is clear and a personal threat,” Blum added.
Both of them filed complaints with the police on Tuesday, but the police policy isn’t clear about whether the "leftist traitor" sign brandished at many pro-Netanyahu demonstrators constitutes incitement. At a session held this week at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, a police official was asked whether they permit the sign to be shown. He replied that they should refer the question to the organization’s legal adviser.
On Monday, Haaretz contacted the police about the issue, who said: “Everything to do with legal aspects of crimes or expressions of incitement have to be directed to the Justice Ministry.” The ministry has not yet responded to Haaretz's query.
This incident comes after intensified protests against Netanyahu. Thirty demonstrators were arrested on Saturday as thousands gathered in Jerusalem and at traffic junctions nationwide for the 24th week in a row.
The protest on Balfour Street was the largest in weeks, drawing thousands of demonstrators, inspired by Netanyahu's request to dismiss his corruption cases on Sunday.
The Jerusalem District Court heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attorney’s motion to quash the indictments in his corruption case. If their request is accepted, it would further delay the evidentiary phase of the trial, which has already been postponed until February.