Anti-overhaul protesters converge outside hotel where ministers attend conference

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

Anti-overhaul protesters gather outside the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City where ministers are taking part in an Arutz Sheva conference on June 4, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Anti-overhaul protesters gather outside the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City where ministers are taking part in an Arutz Sheva conference on June 4, 2023. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

NEW YORK — After New York’s Celebrate Israel Parade wraps up, the coalition lawmakers who attended head to a conference at a hotel in Manhattan.

Hundreds of anti-government demonstrators gather outside. The protesters shout “Shame” and “Democracy” and brandish Israeli flags. Many wear shirts from the ex-pat activist group UnXeptable.

Speakers describe their fears of the coalition’s judicial overhaul for Israel’s future. The demonstrators mock MK Simcha Rothman, one of the overhaul’s key players, after he seized a megaphone from a protester in New York on Friday.

In a Hebrew rhyme, the crowd sings, “Poor, poor Rothman, even in New York he’s freaking out. Rothman, Rothman calm down, the megaphone is not so bad.”

A group of protesters dress as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale, a common motif from the rallies in Israel. Others carry signs calling for “freedom, democracy, equality.”

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