Thousands of Israelis Take to the Streets in Fifth 'March of Shame' Against Netanyahu Gov't Corruption

Over 2,000 protesters are taking part in protests that take aim at corruption scandals surrounding the prime minister and members of his government

Protesters in the fifth weekly 'march of shame' against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and corruption in his government, December 30, 2017.
Meged Gozani

Thousands of protesters are taking part in what is now the fifth consecutive week of anti-government corruption rallies across Israel on Saturday night. Protesters are rallying to demonstrate against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the corruption scandals he and members of his government are embroiled in.

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Over 2,000 protesters gathered in Tel Aviv's central Rothschild Boulevard on Saturday night, holding a range of anti-government and anti-corruption signs: "Corrupt officials, go home", "not left, not right, but honest" while chants of "Bibi go home" and "shame" were heard throughout the rally. 

Additional protests were held in Jerusalem, Haifa and Afula.

Last week, over 10,000 people protested across Israel in 'march of shame' rallies. Thousands of people marched in Tel Aviv while some 800 rallied in Jerusalem's Zion Square and hundreds demonstrated in the northern city of Haifa.

The rally in Jerusalem last week marked the first time Israelis on the right, among them voters for Netanyahu’s Likud party, demonstrated against corruption in Netanyahu's government.

Israelis are taking to the streets to protest Netanyahu. But what would it take for 'Bibi to go home'?

Netanyahu is currently being investigated in two separate cases.

The first investigation is about allegations that he received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen.

The police are also investigating allegations Netanyahu attempted to make a deal with the owner of Yediot Ahronoth, a popular Israeli newspaper that is often critical of the prime minister, to assure he would get more favorable coverage.

Another scandal, dubbed the “submarine affair” involves Netanyahu associates.  It deals with the allegations of bribery in a deal between Israel and Germany worth over a billion dollars.

'March of shame' protests held at the beginning of December prompted Netanyahu to request Likud lawmakers re-draft the police muzzling bill which was later approved into law by the Knesset this past Wednesday.

The new Recommendations Law, which restricts the police from issuing recommendations on the indictment of public officials after an investigation, had included a clause which meant that it would include the current investigations in which the prime minister and former coalition whip MK David Bitan are currently embroiled in.

The backtracking by Netanyahu as a result of the protests mean that the police will be able to recommend his indictment to the attorney general should sufficient evidence be found.