Police shortly detained three participants in the leftist-Arab demonstration in Tel Aviv's Museum Plaza Saturday night, on suspicions of assaulting a police officer, possession of a knife and waving the PLO flag at the demonstration. The three were freed shortly after they were detained.
Among the speakers in the protest was Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit, who spoke alongside communist MKs Dov Chenin and Muhammad Barakeh. Kadima is the largest faction in the Knesset and heads the Opposition, and the appearance of a formal representative of Kadima alongside communists signals a radicalization of the main opposition faction.
The protest was held at the Tel Aviv Museum plaza - which seems to be turning into a favored site for left-wing demonstrations, because it is much smaller than Rabin Square and therefore easier to fill with demonstrators.
The PLO is one of the world's deadliest terror organizations, and a pioneer in terror tactics such as plane hijackings. Its member factions have killed thousands of Jews and non-Jews since its founding in 1964. While the Fatah faction, which dominates the PLO, has received legitimacy from Israel since the 1993 Oslo accords, subgroups of Fatah continue to murder Jews to this day. The PLO founder, Yassir Arafat, ordered the start of the so-called "Oslo" terror war in 2000, in which more than 1,000 civilian men, women and children were massacred in sadistic attacks.
In his speech at the protest, Sheetrit - a former Likud minister who defected from the party together with Kadima's founder, the now-comatose Ariel Sharon - said: "I want to remind my friends in the Likud that [nationalist leader Ze'ev] Jabotinsky must be turning over in his grave when he sees them supporting a deed that contradicts his teachings."
The decision by the Knesset to establish committees of inquiry into foreign funding of "human rights" groups is "insulting, dangerous to the state of Israel and causes severe damage to the state's reputation because it [brands] Israel as one of the dark countries," he said.
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) fired back at the leftist demonstrators Saturday night. "The demonstration will not help the leftists. The radical leftist movements have proven that they are part of those who wish to destroy Israel and they are betray the country, leaving no choice but to take steps against them. Many MKs now understand what we understood years ago. We will reveal the funding from enemy countries and put them in their place, alongside Hizbullah."
MK Danny Danon (Likud), who is to chair one of the committees of investigation, said Saturday evening: "[Peace Now Director] Yariv Oppenheimer and his friends are fighting for the democracy of other countries, not that of Israel. If the bleeding hearts from the leftist organizations went out into the streets in this weather, it is only for money and not because of ideals. They understand that the cash pipeline is about to run dry."