At Jerusalem rally, anti-government protest leader claims PM ‘smiles’ at Israeli deaths

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Anti-government protest leader Shikma Bressler speaks at a rally urging a hostage deal and early elections near the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 17, 2024. (Sam Sokol/Times of Israel)
Anti-government protest leader Shikma Bressler speaks at a rally urging a hostage deal and early elections near the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 17, 2024. (Sam Sokol/Times of Israel)

At a demonstration in front of the Knesset in Jerusalem, anti-government protest leader Shikma Bressler calls for early elections and for a deal with Hamas that will allow all hostages to return.

“Over the weekend, we heard [former war cabinet observer Gadi] Eisenkot say that the prime minister is controlled by Kahanists and is unable to make decisions,” she says, using a term for followers of the late racist rabbi Meir Kahane.

“After what happened on October 7, and in light of this government’s extremism and denial of its failure, it needs to return the mandate to the people,” she says in front of thousands of protesters.

Accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of taking pleasure in the deaths of Israeli soldiers, Bressler says Israel “has a prime minister who smiles as IDF officers knock on the doors of more families” to notify them of the death of their loved one.

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