A few dozen protesters against the judicial reform on Tuesday night demonstrated in front of the home of MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) in Bnei Brak. They carried signs, Israeli and multicolored gay flags and shouted slogans proclaiming “Israel is not a dictatorship” (something we can all agree on). But what they met on the other side, bursting to get a hold of them from behind a chain of police officers, were very angry local Haredim, who called them “Traitors” (imagine that), shot firecrackers at them, and pelted them with eggs.
This was the first time since the protests began that Israeli leftists/anarchists dared demonstrate in Bnei Brak. Bless their brave little heats, methinks they’ll stick to Kaplan Street in Tel Aviv from now on. A case in point, one demonstrator told Haaretz: “I went with five or six other protesters and held a pride flag. Within seconds we were surrounded by dozens of Haredim who tried to grab the flag while beating and spitting. They kicked me and tore my bag.”
The protester added that he turned to the police for help, and they put him in a car with two other protesters and evacuated them from the scene.
Nice police. This is what it really looked like:
Gafni’s office issued a statement saying the MK was not going to be at home Tuesday night (he works in Jerusalem, you know, into the wee hours). But the leftists insisted the demonstration, under the banner “Fearful for Democracy” (you know, because Haredim means fearful in Hebrew), is the opening shot of a large-scale movement against the involvement of Haredi MKs on the side of the judicial reform, who are led by Gafni.
Oh, here’s a particularly poignant note from this bunch of entitled Israeli Karens and Kevins: “The organizers expect the Israel Police to prepare accordingly and allow them to exercise their freedom of expression and the right to protest in front of MK Gafni’s house while making sure to maintain the welfare of the demonstrators.”
It’s a little like yelling the N-word on 125th Street and expecting the cops to come to your rescue.
And, believe it or not, the police obeyed! They blocked several key streets in the all-Haredi city, disturbing the normal routine of thousands of unsuspecting residents. So, after several hundred Haredi counter-demonstrators chased away those visibly shocked professional demonstrators, they were still angry at the cops, so about 200 of them decided to copycat the leftists and hurried down Zhabotinsky Street to Highway 4, Israel’s fourth-busiest traffic artery and took it over. The cops, very much unlike those Tel Aviv police officers who allowed the anarchists to block Ayalon Highway for three hours, took out their “crowd control equipment” and went about bashing the faces of the lawbreakers, the way Israeli cops are more likely to do when the road is blocked by Arabs, Ethiopians, Settlers, or Haredim.
And that’s the way it is in Israel today, March 15, 2023, with 12 days remaining until the end of the current Knesset session. Just keep the train moving, Gafni, Rothman, Levin, et al – it’s our one chance to win and we trust you not to blow it.