“Take down the dictator,” shout tens of thousands of anti-Netanyahu protesters. – The Informant

“Take down the dictator,” shout tens of thousands of anti-Netanyahu protesters.

Published on 15.1.2023

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated on Saturday evening, January 14, in the center of Tel Aviv to proclaim their rejection of the policy of the ruling coalition combining right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties.

Protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday, holding signs with slogans describing Netanyahu’s new cabinet as a “government of shame” and calling to “bring down the dictator”.

Israeli media reported that 80,000 people joined the rally, while regime security sources reported 20,000 protesters but did not give any official estimate.

It was the largest anti-government rally since Netanyahu’s new cabinet came to power in late December.

The rally also included messages against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, with a placard reading: “There is no democracy with occupation”.

Center and left-wing parties and the Hadash-Taal alliance of Arab parties had called on Israelis to demonstrate, in particular against the justice reform presented on January 4 by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sued in several cases of corruption.

They also demand the resignation of the head of government because of these cases.

The new Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, feared for his radical positions, is also in the crosshairs of the protesters.

Many Israelis came with their families despite the rain, AFP journalists noted.

Instigator of the demonstration, the Black Flag Movement had supported a long-running protest campaign against Mr. Netanyahu from July 2020 to June 2021 to demand his resignation because of the corruption scandals in which he is involved.

Leader of Likud, the great party of the Israeli right, and holder of the record for longevity at the head of the Israeli government, Netanyahu was ousted from power in 2021 by a motley electoral coalition that lasted less than a year.

At the end of December, he took the helm of a new government following the legislative elections in November, the fifth in four years, the results of which bear witness to the fragmentation of the electorate and internal Israeli divisions.

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