Opinion

The myth of Israel’s ‘mass anti-government protests’

Despite the media’s lies, the leftist rallies are no big deal.

Thousands of Israelis rally in Tel Aviv against the government's proposed judicial reforms, Jan. 21, 2023. Photo by Gili Yaari/Flash90.
Thousands of Israelis rally in Tel Aviv against the government's proposed judicial reforms, Jan. 21, 2023. Photo by Gili Yaari/Flash90.
Daniel Greenfield

The media and assorted opponents of Israel’s current coalition are hyping the leftist rallies in Tel Aviv against the government’s judicial reform efforts as being unprecedented.

They’re not.

While Israel is a small country, getting 100,000 protesters, on any side, to take to the streets is really not very hard.

Here are just half a dozen examples:

In January 2004, some 120,000 people took part in a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disastrous disengagement from Gaza.

In May of that same year, more than 100,000 people had taken to the streets in Tel Aviv to demand that Ariel Sharon follow through on his pledge to turn over the Gaza Strip to Hamas and withdraw Jewish settlers from the territory.

Even the haredim, who comprise only about 13% of the overall population, managed to turn out some 250,000 in 2014 to protest against government school regulations.

A rally demanding Olmert’s resignation topped 100,000.

Housing price protests topped 100,000. So did opposition to withdrawing from the Golan Heights.

Anti-government rallies of 100,000 or more might be a big deal in some places, but they’re common in Israel.

100,000 protesters in Israel is no big deal.

Anyone telling you the recent demonstrations are an unprecedented public rejection of the government—that, by the way, won the recent elections—is lying to you.

And most of the media’s lies depend on fooling people who don’t know a whole lot about Israel.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

This is an edited version of an article first published by FrontPage Magazine.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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