Israeli protesters on Thursday take part in what they called a day of “escalating resistance to dictatorship” against controversial judicial overhaul presented by government of Benjamin Netanyahu, a day after President Isaac Herzog warned of a civil war in the Zionist entity.
Acts of disruption and protest began before dawn, with demonstrators painting a bright red line in the street leading up to the Supreme Court in Al-Quds (Jerusalem), and staging many other protests across the occupied territories.
Roads blocked across Tel Aviv and Haifa, with several protesters being arrested and reportedly oppressed by occupation police.
Lapid Blames Gov’t over Violence
Opposition leader Yair Lapid condemned rising violence against protesters and blamed the government.
“The violence against protesters this morning is growing. Government of Israel — the responsibility is on you,” he tweeted after at least one incident in which protesters were attacked with pepper spray.
“Stop inciting against the protesters, they are wonderful Israeli protesters and you are responsible for their safety,” Lapid said.
The video below, posted by an Israeli account on Twitter, shows an Israeli protester sprayed with pepper.
“Threats to Existence”
In Germany, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the need to “obstruct evil designs early on.”
Alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Platform 17 memorial in Berlin’s Grunewald train station, Netanyahu said that ‘Israel’ faces threats to its existence today, adding that “we have learned that the Jewish people must have the capability to defend ourselves by ourselves.”
Protesters held demonstrations in and around Ben Gurion International Airport on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to disrupt Netanyahu’s flight to Germany on a state visit. The premier’s flight took off about five hours later than expected.
In an address on Wednesday night, Herzog warned of a brewing “civil war” and an approaching “abyss” if a compromise on the radical judicial changes could not be reached.
The opposition has repeatedly demanded the government pause its relentless legislative push during negotiations, which the coalition has refused to do, moving the legislation forward despite widespread opposition.
“Those who think that a real civil war, with human lives, is a border we won’t cross, have no idea,” said the Israeli president, adding that in the 75th year of the Zionist regime, “the abyss is within touching distance.”
“A civil war is a red line. At any price, and by any means, I won’t let it happen,” he added.
While the Netanyahu coalition quickly dismissed Herzog’s plan, opposition leaders expressed cautious approval for the framework as a basis for talks. They also lashed the government for so readily dismissing what Herzog had presented as the last, best chance to avoid a catastrophic tear in the fabric of Israeli society.
Source: Israeli media