"A dictatorship can only return to being a democracy via bloodshed."
These were the words used by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Monday on Channel 13 News. "This is what history teaches us," he said. "If a country becomes a dictatorship via the democratic process, it will only be restored as a democracy via bloodshed.
"They don't care about the pleadings of the President," Huldai added, referring to Knesset members of the coalition, despite the fact that many of them have joined the President in his pleas, only to receive shouts and abuse in return during Monday morning's meeting of the Knesset Constitution Committee, which descended into utter pandemonium.
"I'm appealing to all serious people who know what this country is like, we have to realize that this isn't a matter of left-wing or right-wing," Huldai then claimed. "It's about evil versus good."
Responding to Huldai's words, MK Avi Maoz (Noam) said, "I absolutely condemn these serious statements made by the mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai. We have no other country, no other people. All the incitement should stop, all the rebellion against a government that was legally voted into power should stop right away."
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir also condemned Huldai's words. "The Attorney-General must now order an immediate investigation against Ron Huldai. The mayor of Tel Aviv has no political immunity and no privileged status that permits him to incite to murder. His words are extremely serious and he should be investigated and made to answer for his statements in court."
Benny Gantz, head of the National Unity party, also called for an end to incitement. "We are currently in a state of emergency, but the battle we are fighting is for Israeli democracy, not against one another. The pain and worries are justified, but we must immediately cease this violent and unbridled discourse on both sides which could drag us into the abyss. Huldai's words are dangerous and they also damage our righteous cause."