Some 300 protesters calling on Benjamin Netanyahu to resign marched Saturday evening from Habima Square to Likud headquarters in central Tel Aviv, where they were met a counterdemonstration of a few dozen supporters of the prime minister.
Leftists held placards demanding legal justice whose slogans included “Bibi to prison.” The rightists’ signs hailed “King Netanyahu” and exhorted “End the persecution: A government should be brought down only by the ballot box.”
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MK Michal Rozin of Meretz told the protesters at Habima that Netanyahu should have stepped down Thursday, after Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced his decision to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, pending a hearing process.
“Instead of that, we heard another speech of incitement in which he accused everyone of being leftists, and this will go on for 40 days as the incitement level rises” toward the April 9 election, Rozin said.
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“A person who makes shameless threats against prosecutors is acting like the head of a crime organization, rather than a prime minister,” she said, adding that Netanyahu was campaigning for his “legal survival at the public’s expense.”
Rozin said past prime ministers under investigation didn’t dare take public monies to fund their defense. “We are paying out of our own pockets. Where are those of you in Likud willing to say you’re not corrupt? Not only Likud but also Hayamin Hehadash. Where are [Naftali] Bennett and [Moshe] Kahlon and where is all your morality. You’re also corrupt, you also keep defending a person who’s corrupt.
“You have stuck a knife in Israeli democracy and risked our future as a democracy. Even sworn supporters overseas understand your time is past and have asked you to resign even if you’re reelected. ... Move on to your own defense and allow us to rebuild what you have destroyed. There will be an upheaval and Bibi shall no longer be prime minister,” Rozin.
A protester who gave her name as Flora said: “I’m tired of shouting from my home. Sometimes I just want to shout out the window, ‘Bibi go home.’ It’s an emotional moment.”
Shosh, 67, from Herzliya, held a sign saying “End the persecution.” She said she was most disturbed by the “endless hatred I hear from people.”
Continuing, she said, “We can disagree. But many people I know are mad at the injustice and the one-sidedness, and what they are doing to Netanyahu is a different sort of justice. People are very angry at the troika of the media, justice system and police that have all become a left-wing party.”