A spate of violent incidents took place as more than a quarter million Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv and other cities in Israel on Saturday night for the 11th week in a row, in protest over the government’s controversial plan to reform the country’s left-leaning judicial system.
Former IDF chief of staff Dan Halutz mocked Israel’s ultra-Orthodox sector, saying that they “should begin to learn the standard curriculum because F-16 jets are only in English.”
He also called the protests “war of liberation for the State of Israel.”
“Just like we won in the Independence War, you will win in the second war of liberation,” he said.
Earlier this month, Halutz called on Israeli soldiers and reservists to buck the call of duty. “If the legislation is passed as it is – in time of war, I will not stand,” he said.
Critics of Halutz pointed out that the failures of 2006’s Second Lebanon War were largely due to Halutz’s ineptitude, an assessment that even the far-left Haaretz daily agrees with.
A man in his sixties in Herzliya was arrested on suspicion of running over a protester’s foot with his car, injuring him lightly. The driver then tried to attack the protester before he was restrained by others in the area. He was later arrested.
Clashes broke out between protesters and police in Jerusalem as some of the demonstrators attempted to break through barriers by the Prime Minister’s house.
In Tel Aviv, demonstrators heading towards the main protest in Kaplan Street chanted, “Israel is not yet Iran.”
As Breitbart’s Joel Pollak noted, leading figures in Israel’s financial, political, and social elite are joining the protests, including, most recently, Jacob Frenkel, a recent chair of JP Morgan Chase International and former head of the Bank of Israel.
Frenkel told a crowd in Tel Aviv on Saturday night the Netanyahu government is “destroying the Zionist enterprise from within.”
Supreme Court Justice Yitzhak Amit on Sunday ruled that National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, whose ministry oversees Israel Police, is barred from giving operational instructions to the police during the demonstrations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to criticism from German Chancellor Olaf Sholz about his proposed judicial reforms, noting that Germany, too, uses politicians to select the country’s judges. https://t.co/SUXE5O0AMX
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 18, 2023
The move is being viewed by many proponents of the judicial overhaul as an example par excellence of why it is needed.
Ben-Gvir “is forbidden from giving operational instructions regarding the manner of implementing his policy, the manner of the use force, the means of dispersing demonstrations, and the conditions regarding the time, place and manner of organizing the event.”
“The minister must refrain from giving operative instructions to the police, either directly or indirectly, and this is especially true regarding protests and demonstrations against the government,” added Amit.
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