Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron HuldaiMiriam Alster/Flash 90

Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, has attempted to defend himself of charges of incitement to violence, following an interview he granted Channel 13 News on Monday in which he said that, "If a country becomes a dictatorship via the democratic process, it will only be restored as a democracy via bloodshed."

On Tuesday, Huldai was interviewed on Radio 103FM and accused the Prime Minister of defaming him and accusing him of inciting to violence.

"All my life, I have refrained from violence, prevented violence, never used violence other than in war [to preserve] the freedom of Israel," he said. "I have never preached violence, but now I had no choice. I had to issue a warning about those who want to create a different reality and turn the country into a dictatorship. Yesterday, a black flag was raised over legislation that says that judges will be selected by politicians. For me, as a democrat, my soul cries out for human rights."

"I said what I did in a very clear way in order to warn about what history has shown us, that the moment things reach the stage of tyranny, there's no way forward," Huldai continued. "I am not the person who is inciting to violence. The opposite is true. I want to prevent violence. It's a fact that they didn't agree to halt the legislation despite the compromise suggested by the President, which I'm not happy about. That simply demonstrates that they do want to move toward dictatorship. It's clear that there was no incitement here."

Huldai added that, "Those who are doing this want to portray my words as incitement. You have to try to understand me; I'm not preaching incitement or bloodshed, but cooperation. I've become an inciter? The opposite is true. They are turning the country into a halachic dictatorship [a dictatorship based on Jewish law -ed.]. A country in which politicians select judges and in which legal advisers are chosen by them as well. This country is becoming a dictatorship."