Likud government minister Amichai Chikli was expelled from a so-called “unity” conference held Wednesday night in Jerusalem on the eve of Tisha B’Av by anti-government anarchists protesting the government’s planned judicial reforms. The event was held at the Baka Community Office in Jerusalem.
בערב תשעה באב: זו התגובה לה זכה השר שיקלי שהגיע הערב לאירוע במנהל קהילתי בקעה בירושלים על ידי מתנגדים לרפורמה המשפטית pic.twitter.com/TsziyFdb5Y
— לירן תמרי | Liran Tamari (@liran__tamari) July 26, 2023
The annual fast day has been held for thousands of years to mourn catastrophic events in Jewish history, including the destruction of two Holy Temples in Jerusalem, one of which was demolished because of baseless hatred.
It seems there is yet much to be improved.
The conference, entitled “Either We Unite or We Fall Apart” included a panel in which the diaspora minister was scheduled to participate. But upon his arrival, Chikli was ambushed by screaming, sign-waving anti-government anarchists.
Instead of entering a venue to participate in a discussion, Chikli was surrounded by a mob of anarchists yelling “Go! Go! Go!” who waved their arms at him and held up signs proclaiming, “Destruction of the Third Temple” and “Go, Shame on You!”
Chikli described the scene to Israel’s KAN News public broadcaster following the incident. “All these signs with violent expressions, calls for civil rebellion, former officers calling for refusal to serve . . . [former Chief Justice] Aharon Barak, who fanned the flames and forgot his national responsibility – those who chased me out have undergone brainwashing, the likes of which I’ve never seen,” he said.
Numerous social media users condemned the incident, among them Avi Ravina, who works for Radio Kol Chai.
“Hateful, destructive people, those who demolished the Temple, in the midst of Tisha B’Av disgracefully expelled Minister Amichai Chikli from the “unity” conference,” Ravina wrote in a tweet.
“Those who dare to preach division and call for unity. Shame on them – they should leave us and go abroad, and maybe things will be better here.”
There were, however, many who supported the anarchists and who spewed even more hate on social media in response to a video of the incident.