Fighting for democracy: Tens of thousands stood in silence and grieve all over Israel

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Politics Jan 28, 2023

The demonstrations against the legal revolution led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Yariv Levin continued this evening (Saturday) in the shadow of the attacks that took place during Shabbat in Jerusalem. About 40,000 people came to the centers of the demonstrations in Tel Aviv, in Haifa about 13,000 participated in one of the largest demonstrations ever held in the city, and large demonstrations were also held in a number of other cities.
In Tel Aviv, dozens of protesters tried to break through a barrier on the way down to Ayalon lanes from the Sevidor-Merkaz train station, but the police repelled them. On the stage square in Tel Aviv, demonstrators lit candles in memory of the seven murdered in the attack in the capital's Neve Ya'akov neighborhood, and the demonstration opened with a minute's silence. The "Religious for Democracy" group, which included hundreds of people, also came to the demonstration.
Moshe Hazan, who resigned from his position as a member of the Monetary Committee at the Bank of Israel, was also present at the protest. "The Bank of Israel announced that I resigned due to my intention to be involved in activities on the public-political level. I meant it," he tweeted, posting his photo at the demonstration.
The chairman of the opposition MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said in a protest in front of the President's House in Jerusalem: "The government needs to decide if it wants to fight terrorism or fight Israeli democracy, if it wants to unite us or if it wants to tear us apart from within." Lapid lit a candle in memory of the murdered.
This morning the organizers announced that the demonstrations will be held in a "different format", without music, unlike the previous three weeks, at the peak of which a week ago more than 100,000 protesters left their homes, and most of them came to the demonstration on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv.
At the same time as the main demonstration on Kaplan Street this evening, another demonstration organized by the Movement for the Quality of Government under the title "Liberty. Equality. Quality of Government" was held as mentioned in the Hiba square. One of the speakers at the demonstration in Bhima was supposed to be former police commissioner Roni Alsheich, but in the end he canceled his participation.
Along with the large demonstrations in Tel Aviv, as mentioned, other demonstrations took place in Jerusalem, Beer Sheva, Haifa, Rehovot, Herzliya and Modi'in. The head of the opposition, Lapid, came to the demonstration, which was organized as a memorial rally in front of the President's House in Jerusalem, as a sign of solidarity and support for the residents of the capital and the families of those murdered and injured in the attacks.
"We came here to Jerusalem to remind that we are one nation and we stand against terrorism as one nation," said Lapid and sent condolences to the families of the murdered. About a thousand people came to the rally.
"Last night's murderous attack in Jerusalem tears apart the heart and soul. We share in the pain and mourning of the families of the murdered and wish for the recovery of the injured. Even in these difficult days, we have the duty to fight for Israeli democracy, in the face of a dangerous, cynical and irresponsible government," the struggle headquarters said.
The Movement for the Quality of Government announced that "the Movement for the Quality of Government bows its head for the criminal murder of innocents, shares in the grief and mourning of the families and wishes recovery to the injured. The movement's protest at the Bima Square will be held as a series and will begin with a minute's silence in memory of the murdered."
About 13,000 people came to the demonstration in Haifa, near the Romema Sports Hall. "The attacks in Jerusalem are very sad and we are all with the bereaved and injured families, but I had no doubt as soon as I arrived at the demonstration," said Dorit Makriyat Bialik. "There is a war here for democracy and it has nothing to do with terrorist attacks. We have to fight for the character of our country."
In the demonstration in Be'er Sheva, the chairman of the Bar Association, Avi Hami, participated. "We are all united in the war on terror. A war in which we are all brothers, a war in which there is no right or left. Our struggle against the coup d'├ętat is also not a matter of left and right. And those who try to turn our protest into a protest of shamans are simply lying," said Khimi.
He also noted that his professional career was built in the south. "The residents here in the south are warm and wise. Their lies will not work on you, on us. The incitement and division they are trying to impose on us will not work for them. Everyone who demonstrates in the streets and squares, here in Beer Sheva and Haifa, in Jerusalem, in Herzliya and in Tel Aviv, we are the proof. The proof that disproves the lies. This is not a protest by leftists, nor by elites or Ashkenazim, nor by high-tech. In this protest, we are all brothers."
At a demonstration in Rehovot, Councilwoman Ital Zir Elshich, who is at the head of the "Free Rehovot" list, said. According to her, these protests are not a matter of left and right, but more of a matter of whether to exist or not. Whether to be a democracy or to be a dictatorship.
"It is enough for citizens to learn from the lessons of the past and history to understand that against the background of democracy and majority rule, dictators have arisen. And in order to implement their rule in a total way, they care about damaging the very soul of democracy! The independence of the courts, the closing of the media channels, and any criticism that may harm them."
In Herzliya, too, thousands participated in a demonstration held in the city hall square, which also opened with a minute's silence in memory of those murdered in the attack in Jerusalem. Actress Roni Hadar, who moderated the demonstration, said: "We have reached the point in time where sitting on the fence is not an option. We must all - leftists and rightists, men and women, religious and secular - make our voices heard if we want to preserve our freedoms and rights."
Hundreds demonstrated in Modi'in in front of Justice Minister Levin's home. A man came to the scene with a cap on his head who said: "What Yariv Levin does strengthens democracy." The protesters responded with contempt and interrupted his words. Then the demonstrators shouted: "Levin's opponent - shame on the intelligence".
They also demonstrated overseas against the Levin-Netanyahu plan. About 150 Israelis protested in Manhattan, New York, in solidarity with the demonstrators in Israel and waved, among other things, signs in Hebrew and English saying "Save Israeli democracy".

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