At least 250,000 right-wing protesters arrived in Jerusalem Monday evening to launch a counter demonstration opposing the anti-government ranks thronging outside the Knesset and elsewhere in the capital.
Right-wing organizations that included Regavim, Im Tirzu, Ad Kan, Bezalmo and Torah Lehima announced their counter protest would start at 6 pm near the Supreme Court.
“Friends, under no circumstances should we stop the judicial reform to strengthen Israeli democracy,” Religious Zionism chair and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said in a statement. “We are the majority. We must not give in to violence, anarchy . . . and wild strikes.
“Let’s make our voice heard. Let’s meet tonight at 6 pm in Jerusalem, in front of the Knesset. I’ll be there.
“We can’t let them steal our voice and our country!”
היום אנחנו מפסיקים לשתוק. היום הימין מתעורר. הפיצו הלאה. pic.twitter.com/okanuudwo0
— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) March 27, 2023
National Security Minister and Otzma Yehudit chair Itamar Ben-Gvir issued a brief one-line statement, via Twitter: “Today we stop being silent. Today the right wakes up. Share this.”
As the right-wing demonstrators began to make their way to Jerusalem from across the country, there were reports that Israel Police were making an effort to impede their progress as much as possible.
One police roadblock was seen on Route 1, the main highway leading to Jerusalem.
“I am receiving more and more updates that the police are stopping cars with pro-reform supporters on their way to the rally,” Berale Crombie, one of the organizers of the pro-reform rally, wrote in a tweet.
מקבל עוד ועוד עדכונים שהמשטרה עוצרת רכבים של תומכי הרפורמה בדרך להפגנה. חברים, אל תוותרו! בנקודה שעוצרים אתכם תשאירו את הרכב ותצעדו רגלית! הם רוצים כפר מימון 2? שיידעו שהפעם לא נשאר בתוך גדרות התיל!
— ברל'ה קרומבי?? (@berale_crombie) March 27, 2023
“Friends, don’t give up!,” he exhorted. “At the point where you are being stopped, leave your vehicle and walk!”