Israel Police said on Sunday that they are looking into a cardboard guillotine at an anti-corruption rally in Tel Aviv, and will later decide whether to open a formal invesigation into the matter.
"This is clear incitement that crosses the boundaries of freedom of expression and protest," President Reuven Rivlin said in a Facebook post.
Thousands of people marched in Tel Aviv on Sunday night in the fourth weekly protest against corruption in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
The guillotine-wielding protester, Amit Brin, took to Facebook Sunday morning, saying he did not call for incitement. "I am a pacifist and I oppose any kind of violence," he said, adding that he educates his children by these same values.
Brin said the guillotine "is an image that serves as a historic reminder of a civil victory over a corrupt regime that has broken its trust."
Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein said the guillotine crossed a red line and called for law enforcement to formally investigate the incident and for the Israeli opposition to condemn the matter.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon also issued condemnations, saying that the right to demonstrate does not provide the right to incite. Education Minister Naftali Bennett posted on Facebook that the demonstrations themselves are legitimate, but "this madness needs to stop before it is too late."
Leaders of the Israeli opposition also condemned the matter. Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay called the guillotine "incitement that shouldn't exist and only deflects discussion from the central issue - corruption." Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni added that "the more Netanyahu attacks the law, the more we need good people to go out and defend Israel from a prime minister who is destroying it from within. Without guillotines, without incitement and without violence."
The organizers of the demonstration said on Sunday that they did not notice the guillotine at the protest. "There were tens of thousands of patriotic Israelis with Israeli flags [at the rally]," activist Eldad Yaniv told Army Radio. "I don't know him, at a demonstration like these there are such signs, at a demonstration of 200 people you don't see them."
"There will always be one idiot in tens of thousands of patriots marching for a lofty cause," Yaniv said
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