Protest march follows new legislation being pushed by Netanyahu’s coalition that critics say is meant to protect the prime minister from police investigations
Tens of thousands of people rallied in protest on Saturday night in Tel Aviv against government corruption and new legislation that critics say is intended to shield Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from police investigations.
The so-called “march of shame” comes in response to a bill that will prevent Israel’s police from making public their recommendations to indict following an investigation. The bill will come up for its second reading on Monday.
Netanyahu is suspected of involvement in two corruption cases. The first involves receiving gifts from wealthy businessmen and the second involves negotiating a deal with a newspaper owner for better coverage in return for curbs on a rival daily.
The protesters marched along Rothschild Boulevard to Habima Square and called forNetanyahu’s imprisonment, along with slogans associating government with big business and the underworld. Tel Aviv’s iconic Rothschild Boulevard was closed to traffic in both directions, the police said. Hundreds of protesters also gathered in the cities of Haifa and Rosh Pina.
Among the protesters who addressed the crowds were former Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair, foreign policy and security expert Prof. Uzi Arad, and Maj. Gen. (res.) Amiram Levin.
Meni Naftali, a former chief caretaker at the prime minister’s Jerusalem residence who won a civil suit against the Prime Minister’s Office for violation of his employee rights and has since become a leader in the protest movement against Netanyahu, spoke to the crowds.