On Wednesday night, January 4, Justice Minister Yariv Levin went on the air to introduce his judicial reform. On Saturday night, January 7, several thousand demonstrators took to Tel Aviv’s streets against the reform, which Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, a relic of the former center-left-Arabs government, dubbed a few days later as “regime change.” Since then, Israelis have endured crowded demonstrations against the reform at an ever-increasing clip, spreading to several dozen locations, and adding “disruption Thursdays” to the Saturday night rallies.
In all that time, with very few exceptions, the demonstrators have become used to two important facts: the police, rather than prevent them from blocking streets and major highways, let them be (the policy was “containment”), and very few individuals from the pro-reform side bothered to resist them.
פרשי משטרה, הגיעו לפזר את המפגינים באיילון.. pic.twitter.com/dUIpYSF2UH
— חדשות מכל העולם?News-Fox (@kisis007) March 18, 2023
Not anymore. Last Saturday night, the police and a growing number of Israelis have had enough. The unruly demonstrators were shocked, and so were the propaganda channels masquerading as mainstream media. Ha’aretz, which has devoted every inch of the publication to an unprecedented enlisted attack on the government––having fired all the voices that wouldn’t go along––reported Saturday night: “A series of violent incidents occurred this evening during protests against the coup d’état throughout the country.”
הערב בתל אביב: משטרת ישראל מתחילה להוריד את הכפפות.
מדובר בהפגנה של אנשי ימין תומכי הרפורמה.
עכשיו בדוק @itamarbengvir יקרא לממז לשיחת בירור טייק 5738 pic.twitter.com/o921B5FyNQ
— Igal Malka – ?????? (@igal_malka) March 18, 2023
Yes, that’s what they’ve been calling the legislation to take away the court’s veto right on court appointments, and the limits set on the court’s ability to annul law at will: “coup d’état.” This could be the first time that a lawful vote by 64 out of 120 lawmakers was called a “coup d’état.”
תיעוד: קטטה בין תומכי הרפורמה למתנגדיה בתל אביב@almog_tamar pic.twitter.com/yIpulZ025S
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) March 18, 2023
For next Thursday, after the coalition will presumably pass a considerable part of the judicial reform, the anarchists are planning a “National Paralysis Day.” We’ll get to it at the end of this report.
Kan 11 News, another anti-reform propaganda engine, reported: “At the central protest center on Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv, the demonstrations degenerated into a fight between supporters of the reform and its opponents. After the demonstration, many protesters went down to the Ayalon highway and started marching on the pavement. The police stopped traffic and repelled the protestors, using the cavalry, among other means. Three protesters were arrested.”
In reality, the police pushed away the right-wing demonstrators, cuffing some of them. Also, did you notice how the text describes in such a nonchalant manner the blocking of a busy highway by a crowd of protesters? It’s what you do: first, you block all the streets in midtown Tel Aviv, and at 9:30 PM, when the rally is over, you go down to Ayalon highway to block thousands of cars. It’s how things are.
Not anymore. At an intersection outside Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Police activated a water cannon to disperse thousands of protesters who were blocking highway 65 and refusing the policemen’s instructions to clear the road. Seven protesters were arrested.
And while the police have taken off the gloves and begun policing, the shocked mainstream media on Saturday night began reporting on rank-and-file Israelis who have had enough.
In Or Akiva, residents threw eggs at the anti-reform demonstrators who invaded their town. Two older protesters were stopped in their car by pro-reform demonstrators and policemen had to rescue them. Four right-wingers were arrested.
“לא נותנים לנו לצאת – ומקיפים את האוטו”: זוג מבוגרים הותקף באור עקיבא | תיעוד
(אורלי אלקלעי) pic.twitter.com/c4e6vnqSnt
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) March 18, 2023
In Herzliya, the police arrested a 57-year-old resident who hit a demonstrator who was trying to block his car. The protester was slightly injured.
In Givatayim, a 24-year-old resident was arrested after driving his motorcycle into a group of protesters who were blocking the city’s main drag, Weitzman Street.
Earlier on Shabbat, in Kfar Uria, near Beit Shemesh, a band of anarchists who got wind that Minister Itamar Ben Gvir was spending Shabbat there, ganged up on the shul where he was davening and disrupted shul prayers blowing into the windows with a megaphone. The congregation stormed out, broke their megaphone, and chased them away.
Ben Gvir issued a statement Saturday night, saying: “Protest against me as much as you like. I will fight for your right to protest. But why stick to the windows of a synagogue with loudspeakers, honk, scream, and cause people to violate Shabbat? I’m sure if it was a mosque, you would respect the customs of the locals there. But against religious Jews, it turns out that everything is allowed.”
Next Thursday, the anarchists have promised to introduce “National Paralysis Day,” which they promised would be a step up from everything we’ve seen so far. The main feature this time will be a march through Bnei Brak, which some expect would include minimally-clad women. It has the same hate-fueled energy as Nazis who marched through the Jewish suburb of Skokie, Illinois, but instead of swastikas they’ll wave “pride flags” and the girls will pull up their shirts, as one has already done last week. So, a little bit of Skokie, a little bit of Mardi Gras.