Israel Restricts Demonstrations, but This Map Lets You Join Protests Near You

With a one-kilometer distance limit, activists create a map to let you find a protest site near you

Yair Brill
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A Google Map built by anti-Netanyahu protesters to allow Israelis to demonstrate without breaking coronavirus restrictions
A Google Map built by anti-Netanyahu protesters to allow Israelis to demonstrate without breaking coronavirus restrictions
Yair Brill

Israel’s second lockdown has shaken the country. Alongside the financial fallout, Israel is facing one of its biggest political crises in years, with the government restricting the right to protest, creating a dilemma for many: Express your right as a citizen to demonstrate or abide by the coronavirus restrictions.

On Wednesday night, the coronavirus cabinet approved a long list of new regulations, one of which restricts protesters to a distance of one kilometer (0.6 miles) from their homes. This restriction is valid for one week.

Members of the anti-Netanyahu protest movement have found a creative and simple solution: With the help of Google Maps, the activists have created a list of all the different locations where demonstrations are happening. That way, you can simply join a rally happening within the legally permitted distance of your home.

Haaretz podcast: Israel in lockdown limbo, and what's really stuffed in Bibi's laundry suitcasesCredit: Haaretz

The list of protests includes spots within cities where people are convening as well as bridges and junctions where protesters are planning to convene, as they have in recent weeks.

The map also includes a list of all the home addresses of Knesset members, so you can even protest outside their home if you live nearby.

The map by the Black Flags protest group is not the only technological solution out there to help you exercise your legal right to demonstrate: Guy Tepper developed a website called “One Kilometer”. After providing your address, the site will refer you to a list of protests happening in your vicinity and will even provide a link to the WhatsApp group of that specific demonstrations’ organizers.

>> Here’s the link to the full map

Another group, called “Anu”, have also put together a list with all the upcoming protests. Their platform also allows you to put together a new protest in your neighborhood and invite others to join you.

Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets on Thursday across Israel, protesting the latest measures limiting the right to protest during the country’s second coronavirus lockdown.

Organizers called the latest measures “the most draconian” ones ever enacted against Israeli citizens, and in a statement urged “all citizens to go out and protest in the most creative way the can, until we fix this legal insanity and return to protest on Balfour Street in full force,” referring to the site of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem, where mass protests have been taking place weekly for the past three months.

A coalition of youth protest organizations said: "although despair is growing and the country is crumbling before our eyes - we will continue to fight for it in the streets. While Netanyahu and his government are sowing fear and destruction, and eradicating the basic rights of the citizens of Israel through legislation that is pale in the face of the most dictatorial countries in the Middle East, we will not remain silent or stand aside."

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