Netanyahu: Demonstrations an attempt to undermine democracy in the name of democracy

PM Netanyahu says Israel should not treat violent left-wing protesters more leniently than it does right-wing protesters.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu began the weekly cabinet meeting with criticizing of Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, who defended the right of demonstrators to protest outside the Prime Minister's Residence.

"Benny, I did not intend to touch on the demonstrations but since you touched on them I will say a few things: Firstly, I condemn violence in any form, and we have zero tolerance for violence and any threat of violence, from any side, towards any person," Netanyahu noted.

He said, "Here in the name of democracy I see an attempt to trample on democracy. These demonstrations are twisting all the rules."

The prime minister said that the government was not seeking to fight the protesters but to work with them. "It's an incubator for the coronavirus. There are rules that are not being enforced, no one restricts it and no one has tried to restrict it."

"On the contrary, they are fueling these demonstrations, with unparalleled media mobilization, encouraging the demonstrations, allowing neighborhoods to be paralyzed, allowing roads to be blocked, in stark contrast to everything that was acceptable in the past," the prime minister added.

"I remind you of what Supreme Court President Aharon Barak said about protesters against the disengagement plan when he spoke out strongly against roadblocks: 'Freedom of expression is not a permit for rioting. Freedom of expression does not protect the freedom to paralyze law enforcement and bring about their collapse. Freedom of demonstration does not protect the freedom to stop the functioning of the state and to endanger the security of the individual and the general public.' That was when it came to protesters who went against the disengagement plan. Protesters from the right. But here when it comes to left-wing protesters - that's all gone. It just disappeared," Netanyahu recalled.