Former MK Yair Golan of the radical left-wing Meretz Party, which failed to garner enough votes to get into the Knesset, came out Tuesday with a call for a large-scale civil uprising against Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition government. The call came in response to the government’s planned judicial reforms that – if enacted – will introduce checks and balances on the power of Israel’s Supreme Court, which has been grabbing more and more power over the years.
Calling Netanyahu’s government “malicious and evil,” Golan said that the only to fight against it is “a large-scale civil uprising.”
Golan, who was also the IDF Deputy Chief of Staff, and was in line to be Chief of Staff, until he publicly compared Israel to 1930s Germany in a speech while he was in uniform, accused the government of plotting the destruction of Israel’s justice system and criticized it for making what he said are “unlimited political appointments,” and granting permission to the ultra-Orthodox in Israel “to do whatever they want with our tax money.”
“Why would we agree,” he asked, “why would we accept this on our heads, on our pockets, on our lives? We will never agree.”
Golan declared that starting Wednesday morning, there will be “No more polite demonstrations on Saturday nights… and no more lamentations. Only actions. Only results.”
He also called for businesses and public services to be shut down in some sort of nationwide strike, adding for roads to be blocked by protestors.
Golan said that Netanyahu “pretends to rule through corrupt, hedonistic, extremist and dark people” and that as a result of this “uprising,” he will learn that “the people are sovereign.”
“We are the sovereign,” he declared, ignoring that almost no one wanted him back in the Knesset. “And we will determine the fate of our country. The power belongs to the people, and this will not happen without a determined and courageous struggle.”
Otzma Yehudit MK Zvika Fogel in an interview with Kan 11 news, called for the arrest of Lapid, Gantz, Yaa’alon and Gantz. He said if they were talking about protests, he would not have a problem, but they are talking about launching a [civil] “war” in Israel, and they’re describing the coalition as the enemy.
Speaking as a calm voice of reason, Otzma Yehudit MK Yitzhak Wasserlauf said, “I recommend everyone calm down. Gantz shouldn’t threaten civil war. Lapid shouldn’t threaten that it will end in blood. Yair Golan shouldn’t threaten a civil uprising against the democracy (and on the horrific expulsion from Gush Katif we passed without a rebellion). The leftwing protesters should pack up their terror flags and Nazi symbols. And to my brothers on the right, calm down, and don’t fall for the provocations of the other side.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to critics in the opposition who describe his government and its plans as somehow undemocratic and against the will of the majority of the Israeli public.
“We received a clear mandate from the public to carry out what we promised in the elections – and we will do so,” said Netanyahu. “This is the essence of democracy – it is the realization of the voter’s will.”
“We are not frightened by the one-sided media campaign against us,” he added, “and we do not flinch in the face of the incitement that is raging against us.”
JewishPress.com News Desk contributed to this report.