Tens of Thousands of Israelis Protest Against Government in Tel Aviv
Tens of Thousands Protest Netanyahu Government, Ex-Premier Yair Lapid Leads the March
Over 120,000 protesters took to the streets of downtown Tel Aviv on Saturday night (1/21/2023) to demonstrate against the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in one of the largest demonstrations since his return to power. Former Prime Minister Yair Lapid led the march and tweeted, “Those who love the State came to defend democracy, its courts and the idea of a common life and a common good. We won’t quit until we’ve won.”
The march was initiated by the Movement for a Quality Government in Israel to fight against “the dangerous revolution of the new Executive that will destroy Israeli democracy.” Protesters came from all over the country, taking a stand against the government’s “undemocratic” stance. Computer scientist Dov Gidony, 33, said this was his first time participating in a demonstration, citing “many extremist, religious, almost messianic currents in this government.” Argentine-Israeli scientist Diego complained the country’s secular nature was increasingly being limited.
The event was also marked with a notable presence of LGBTI people and opponents of Israel’s West Bank settlements. Participants were particularly outraged by far-right ministers’ homophobic rhetoric and their proposed legal clause which would allow professionals to refuse services to those who violate their religious beliefs.
The march was a collective show of defiance against a government increasingly targeting fundamental rights and freedoms.