Dozens of activists gathered on Wednesday outside the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court to protest in solidarity with right-wing activist Orly Lev, who was summoned to the court following a court order submitted against her by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

In an unprecedented move, Mandelblit requested last week that the court issue an order banning Lev from claiming that the son of Liat Ben-Ari, the Deputy Attorney General and chief prosecutor in the corruption trial of Prime Minister Netanyahu, assaulted a policeman during a demonstration.

Lev, a private citizen who frequently protests outside the home of Ben-Ari, made the claim in a video published on social media, which Ben-Ari denied.

Led by the Zionist watchdog group Im Tirtzu, the demonstrators decried Mandelblit’s move and called it a politically motivated and outrageous attempt to stifle Lev because of her political affiliation and outspoken criticism of the judiciary.

The Israeli justice system has faced sharp criticism from both sides of the political aisle over its judicial activism. Former justice ministers Haim Ramon (Kadima) and Daniel Friedmann (Shinui) have been among the high-profile left-wing personalities to criticize the judiciary.

Many of the demonstrators dressed up as construction workers due to the recent report that Ben-Ari performed illegal renovations in her home. Ben-Ari along with her husband are soon to be questioned by municipal inspectors, Hebrew-language media reported Wednesday.

Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu which led the demonstration, said: “The honorable Attorney General himself is taking the time to target a social activist, a private and innocent civilian who simply wants to call attention to the moral corruption among some of the most senior members of Israel’s justice system.”

“It is outrageous,” continued Peleg, “that the Attorney General is using his power to bully a social activist whose conscience doesn’t allow her to stay silent in the face of the hypocrisy, the selective rulings, the conflicts of interest, and the trampling of Israeli democracy by the judiciary.”

“He is better off resigning and taking his colleague Ben-Ari with him.” Peleg added.

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Im Tirtzu
Im Tirtzu is Israel's largest grassroots Zionists organization.
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