(November 27, 2019 / JNS) Thousands of protesters gathered in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night to protest against what they claimed was an attempted coup against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following the attorney general’s decision last week to indict the premier on multiple corruption charges.
Reports varied widely as to the number of supporters present, ranging from 2,000 to as many as 15,000.
Last Thursday, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced his decision to formally indict Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
At the rally, many supporters carried signs supporting Netanyahu, while others carried signs condemning Mandelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, calling for investigations into their investigations.
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev and Likud MK Miki Zohar were present for the rally, but many other high-profile Knesset members were absent, despite Netanyahu’s request that as many attend as possible. Knesset members from Likud coalition allies also apparently did not attend.
Speaking at the rally, Zohar said: “Left-wing officials crafted a conspiracy and the media, which is already aligned with them, became part of it. We cannot change the justice system, but we can fix it.”
Netanyahu did not speak at the rally.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz denounced the protest, saying “in a healthy democracy, the prime minister does not organize demonstrations against the law-enforcement system, of which he is in charge.” At the same time, he noted protests and free speech are the “lifeblood of democracy.”
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