‘Bennett is a danger’: Thousands of right-wing protesters rally against government

Demonstrators gather at sites across Israel to decry coalition, call for Netanyahu to halt any plea deal negotiations

Luke Tress is an editor and a reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Right-wing activists protest against the government at the Chords Bridge in Jerusalem, on January 18, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Right-wing activists protest against the government at the Chords Bridge in Jerusalem, on January 18, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Thousands of right-wing protesters rallied around the country on Tuesday to demonstrate against the government and air various grievances, amid reports that former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering a plea deal in his corruption cases.

Many protesters decried the possibility of the plea deal between Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, calling for Netanyahu to continue fighting the charges in court.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at Jerusalem’s Chords Bridge, and smaller rallies took place at traffic intersections around the country.

Organizers estimated that around 20,000 people protested in total, although protest organizers regularly inflate attendance at events.

Organizers also held an online gathering for people in quarantine.

“We do not accept the actions of the government, the loss of our values, and the government’s path poses a real danger to the existence and identity of the state, so we must take to the streets,” the organizers said.

Lawmakers from Netanyahu’s Likud party and the far-right Religious Zionism party joined the protests.

Some demonstrators called for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to resign. Right-wing protesters have lashed out at Bennett since he took office last year. Bennett is a right-wing politician from the Yamina party, but formed a coalition that includes centrist, leftist and Arab lawmakers as it appeared to be the only way to form a government and avoid yet another national election after four inconclusive votes.

Demonstrators held signs with pictures of Bennett and his coalition partner Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist Ra’am party, with the slogan, “Enough with the Hamas government.”

Other signs said, “Bennett is a danger to Israel,” and, “The people want a Jewish state.”

Demonstrators also protested against the potential demolition of a yeshiva in the illegal West Bank outpost of Homesh. A Palestinian attacker gunned down a student from the yeshiva as he was driving away from the settlement last month.

Right-wing activists protest against the government at the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank, on January 18, 2022. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

The protesters also called for illegal outposts to be connected to the water and electricity grid.

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